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FAISALABAD: Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal announced Thursday that he is setting up a cricket academy to find new talent and produce bowlers like himself to torment the world's best batsmen.

The 35-year-old is regarded as the best spinner in all three formats of the game, and was instrumental in Pakistan's rout of the world's then best Test team England in the United Arab Emirates last year.

He said the Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy, in the eastern Pakistani city of Faisalabad, will be free of charge to budding cricketers.

“I want to groom the enormous talent in the country and no fee will be charged in my academy because I don't want the players to suffer the ordeal I did in coming to this stage,” Ajmal said at the launch.

The academy, spread over eight acres (3.2 hectares) at Faisalabad's Agriculture University, will cost around 70 million rupees ($720,000) to set up, with an initial 30 million rupees provided by Ajmal himself.

The Pakistan government has also donated 10 million rupees.

“I am thankful to the prime minister for his financial help and hope that the government and affluent people of the country will help me more,” Ajmal said.

“I will also go house-to-house for donations.”

Ajmal has so far taken 122 Test and 117 one-day wickets, and is also the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket with 71.

Pakistan is rich in natural cricketing talent but hundreds of young people fail to make the grade due to lack of facilities in a country marred by poor governance and Islamist militant attacks.

The Pakistan Cricket Board lauched its own cricket academy in 2000 in the eastern city of Lahore and also has regional academies in the cities of Karachi, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.

Updated Jan 10, 2013 01:34pm

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sami
Jan 11, 2013 09:35am
i wonder how much DAWN receives from its foreign donators every time it publishes these distorted ideas "Pakistan is rich in natural cricketing talent but hundreds of young people fail to make the grade due to lack of facilities in a country marred by poor governance and Islamist militant attacks."....its same policy followed by western media...blame everything on Islam...one way or the other..
Ather
Jan 11, 2013 04:25am
Saeed Ajmal by setting up such a school, you have shown that you truly are 'Ajmal' at heart. You are Pakistan's hero and I salute you!
Mukesh
Jan 11, 2013 01:25am
Great bowler, great initiative. Pampered Indian cricketers - learn something!
Kamran Khan
Jan 11, 2013 08:23am
we shud support...
Mohsin
Jan 10, 2013 05:47pm
I wish all the best to Saeed Ajmal
Nazi
Jan 11, 2013 06:01am
Nice Step Ajmal All the best
ABL
Jan 11, 2013 05:44am
Good gesture. desire for nation building. i agree, but go for diverse talent and not just cricket (or only bowling). BTW, in the contemporary economic world, nothing can sustain without user fees. Trust me, you need to generate some form of revenue, otherwise the passion (joshh) will fizzle out soon. How about, at least charging the cost as fees and let the bright and talented (on merit) get scholarship. You may ask many big national business guys to provide these scholarship in their name. Such as Saeed Ajmal scholarship. Just an idea!!
Morad786
Jan 10, 2013 05:41pm
Do it online aswell and in UK, Middle East, USA. Everyone will help......
Aamir
Jan 10, 2013 04:16pm
Excellent work Saeed Ajmal!!!! This is exactly what Pakistan Cricket needs.
Nawaid
Jan 10, 2013 05:22pm
Bravo Ajmal!
Michael Malcolm
Jan 10, 2013 09:58pm
There are no words to praise such a person who is sacrificing his own funds for the good talent promotion in the country free of cost. I am 100% sure the honest lover of cricket will donate without hesitation. Excellent example set.God Bless you Ajmal and give you more success as you will give to others.
azhar
Jan 10, 2013 04:46pm
very honest personality
aqib
Jan 10, 2013 04:43pm
Excellent initiative, masha'Allah... wish someone takes fund donations online, so that we overseas pakistanis can also contribute w/o issues...
Arif
Jan 10, 2013 04:41pm
Great job Mr Ajmal , we need more people like you .
Javed
Jan 11, 2013 12:09am
FC Barcelona, one of the world's top soccer teams has a complete turn-key program where the club takes youngsters, provides them top class education and prepares them to be responsible citizens of the world while training them to be world class soccer players. Messi and others are all graduates of the program. Hopefully, Saeed Ajmal can organize something similar.
Kashmiri
Jan 10, 2013 07:29pm
@ Ajmal make them scientists ... you need great economists, great scientists... cricket is your innate talent , it will naturally come
Capt C M Khan
Jan 10, 2013 07:31pm
Good dear Ajmal....Please publish your bank account I promise myself and other Pakistanis will support you. Great work Pakistan needs dedicated hard working persons like you. I am sure Imran Khan will support you as well.
Shabbir Ali
Jan 10, 2013 02:06pm
Great stuff. Wish you all the best Saeed Ajmal!
dialogueforpeace
Jan 10, 2013 07:03pm
Very well done Mr Ajmal.
Avishek Roy
Jan 10, 2013 07:06pm
Great bowler..great move..
haris
Jan 10, 2013 02:27pm
Great spinner! Lucky to have you.
Shahid
Jan 10, 2013 02:36pm
Wishing you all the success in your endeavors.
Faizan
Jan 11, 2013 07:02am
Donations for Cricket Academy ?? Our Country people need donations for far greater purpose than cricket academy.
HKD
Jan 10, 2013 02:41pm
feed them.. educate them... give them medicine... then comes bat and ball dear Ajmal... may Allah guide us all... :/
True Indian
Jan 10, 2013 02:48pm
Appreciable work....
Jamal
Jan 10, 2013 03:26pm
I wish you all the best Saeed. I hope this is not you launching pad into plitics.
Javed
Jan 10, 2013 03:29pm
Bravo !! Saeed Ajmal seems to be a genuine person and human being both on and off the field. Kudos and my best wishes for his success.
Anony
Jan 10, 2013 06:09pm
Best of luck to you Ajmal. I hope people who can afford to, make donations to your cause.
H Chaudhry
Jan 10, 2013 06:09pm
Great work Ajmal. We need positive role models.