Emotional Ajmal retires 'with a heavy heart'

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Saeed Ajmal fought back the tears following his final game of professional cricket on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old former Pakistan spinner called time on his long and distinguished career after Faisalabad's National T20 Cup loss to Lahore Whites.

"It's been 25 years, my love for cricket, so when you retire you do get emotional," said Ajmal.

"I am retiring with a heavy heart, but I am satisfied with my career. Although I am retiring from international and domestic cricket, I want to stay in touch with cricket through my cricket academy and want to contribute for the country.

"Whatever I have done in my career, I am absolutely happy and proud. I came into the national team after the age of 30 and have done great things for Pakistan.

"What I have done, many take over 20 years to achieve. Therefore I have achieved everything in my career, but I wish my last match could have been in international cricket.

"However, I am still happy and thank you to every single person who has supported me through my ups and downs."

The veteran took 178 Test wickets in 35 matches at an average of 28.10 and 184 one-day international scalps in 113 games at 22.72 apiece.

He also turned out for Pakistan 64 times in the shortest format, claiming 85 victims at an average of 17.83.

Ajmal was banned from bowling in 2014 due to an illegal action and was unable to return to the peak of his powers after remodelling his delivery.