SAEED Ajmal’s stay with Worcestershire comes to an end next week but his time with us has been invaluable.
For a county like ourselves to get the number one spinner in world cricket was a massive coup and he will be sorely missed when he leaves after the LV= County Championship Division Two game against Leicestershire, which starts tomorrow.
Saeed is a world-class talent and has a fountain of knowledge. You don’t get the chance to play with the game’s superstars very often and the lads have tapped into his knowledge which he’s been more than happy to share with them.
It’s been a fantastic experience for all of us and hopefully we can get him back in the future.
I think he likes the area, his family have been settled, so it would be good if we can get him back in years to come.
He’s a nice guy too, a character and very well liked and I am sure the fans have enjoyed watching him bowl, some of his spells have been outstanding.
But, while Saeed leaves us, we have another top talent in the form of Mitchell McClenaghan coming in.
He’s going to train with us for a week and hopefully he can have a huge impact.
Mitchell is a different type of bowler, a nasty left-arm quick, so we will possibly change the wickets slightly to get a bit more pace to suit him and the other seamers.
Jack Shantry, Charlie Morris and Joe Leach have bowled superbly and it will also be an opportunity for Shaaiq Choudhry and Brett D’Oliveira with the red ball.
Mitchell will bring a lot to us and I am looking forward to seeing him in action.
Hopefully, he can get some wickets early on in the innings and then mop up the tail. He’s got a point to prove in red-ball cricket.
He’s keen to get in the New Zealand side for next year’s tour of England and is eager to prove he can do well in English conditions.
Another player looking to make his mark is Andrew Flintoff, who returned to competitive action for the first time in five years against us at New Road in the NatWest T20 Blast last week.
He’s a crowd pleaser and one of the modern era’s great entertainers.
I thought he looked incredibly fit although we didn’t get enough wickets to see him in the middle.
But he did a pretty good job with the ball and he’s not back to just make up the numbers.
Meanwhile, Moeen Ali is back in action for England against India at Trent Bridge, which looks a very flat pitch and has been dominated by the batters.
Hopefully, Mo can get some runs which is his main area.