An open letter to Ajmal Shahzad

Dear Ajmal,

I was very sad to hear about your departure from Yorkshire this week – mostly because I thought you were Saeed Ajmal; the prospect of the best spinner in the world hitting the open market was a mouth-watering one. However, even though you’re actually a fast bowler who has only played one test, I still think I’ve got a job for you. But first of all, we should discuss the reasons for your not so amicable exit from Headingley.

Now I’ve got to be honest. I think you’re pretty good. Not brilliant, but pretty good. I even thought you were worth that spot in England’s Ashes winning squad in 2010/11 (not that we’ve heard much of you since). However, according to Colin Graves, the Yorkshire Director of Cricket, you actually think you’re amazing. In that case, why is your first class bowling average nearly 34? Did you know that Jason Gillespie, the coach you refuse to listen too (allegedly) has a first class average of 27, and a test record that’s even better? You might have been able to pick up a few useful tips from Dizzy – and I’m not talking about the best place to buy caravans.

We can’t tolerate this kind of attitude I’m afraid. A realistic appraisal of one’s abilities is essential if we’re going to work together. However, if you’re prepared to knuckle down and put your ego to one side, we think we’ve got the perfect home for you. It’s at St Annes Allstars – our social cricket side in South West London. Here’s why we think you’ll fit right in …

According to Graves and Martin Moxon, you don’t like following team instructions. You’d rather do your own thing – i.e. bowling bouncers and yorkers etc rather than building pressure. Snap! Our current bowlers are all improvising souls. Our captain asks them to bowl straight and take wickets but they’re all insubordinate sods. Instead they serve up a feast of full tosses and longhops. And as for building pressure, ha! Our team doesn’t know the meaning of the word (although there’s usually a lot of pressure to get to the pub quickly after the game).

So what do you reckon then Ajmal? You could sign for another professional team – if anyone wants you – or you could have a free rein at the Allstars. We’ll even pay you. Ok, it won’t be thousands every year, but you’ll be well compensated by an endless supply of stale scotch eggs and soggy onion bhajis at approximately 4pm on Sundays – depending on whether we’re playing home or away.

I also guarantee that you’ll encounter some rather bowler friendly wickets (some of them might not have been rolled for weeks) and you’ll even get the chance to physically injure some Colin Graves lookalikes. You might also take a few wickets. Maybe. But don’t count on too many caught behinds. The opposition won’t be anywhere near good enough to get an edge – and even if they do, our wicket keeper won’t catch it; he’ll be standing near the sightscreen.

James Morgan


  • I read somewhere that Ajmal was disgruntled at batting at 8 and 9 each week, and not getting the new ball. Both reasonable desires on his part: tough to get 50+ wickets and 500+ runs without these things, and those are the stats he needs to get back in the England team.

    He’s capable.

    Ajmal – If St Annes’ does not appeal come to Worcestershire: you can bat at 6!

    • As a worcs fan myself, I totally agree. We need him! The comments I made about the st annes’ bowlers equally apply to the worcs’ team ;-) Richardson excepted of course.

      To be fair, we have no opinion on who was right or wrong in the shahzad debate. Just having a bit of fun really. If you’re reading this ajmal (yeah right, as if he pays any attention to us) you might be satisfied to know that martin moxon made our England’s ‘worst ever xi’, but you werent even close. As we said in our open letter, we think you’re quite good. Only the best for st annes thanks!

  • If he refuses the Allstars’ generous offer, there’s another quick bowler going who’s just been released from prison – I think we can slip under the ICC’s radar …


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