Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has talked about in length the conversation he had with Sachin Tendulkar back in 2014 during the Rest of the World XI vs MCC. The only 50-over fixture between the two sides in London filled with legendary cricketers seven years ago was a charity match for bicentenary celebration. Saeed Ajmal recalled Sachin Tendulkar’s words when he told the spinner to enjoy it by having fun without taking it all too seriously.
The likes of Saeed Ajmal, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Brett Lee, Daniel Vettori, and many other cricketers were part of the MCC XI. On the other hand, the Rest of the World XI, captained by Shane Warne, had Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Adam Gilchrist, Muttiah Muralitharan, and several others. Eventually, the MCC XI emerged victorious as Aaron Finch’s unbeaten 181 helped them chase 297 in 45.5 overs with seven wickets to spare.
Meanwhile, Saeed Ajmal revealed he was bowling well and picked up four wickets in his first four overs. The 43-year old said that the number of funds collected depended upon the time they spent in the middle. Thus, captain Sachin Tendulkar asked Ajmal not to play the game too seriously as it was only a charity fixture. Instead, the batting maestro asked the off-spinner to enjoy and stated that the event had to go on at least till 6:30.
“It was an MCC match. It’s supposed to be a friendly match. The players are required to spend some time in the middle because the longer the game goes on, the more funds will be collected. When the match started, I picked up four wickets in four overs. So, Sachin Tendulkar came running to me and he said, ‘Saeed bhai, you are not supposed to play this match too seriously. This is a charity match. This is for the people who have come here to enjoy, they will have food, drinks. This match has to not get over before 6:30,” Ajmal told Cricket Pakistan.
I told him I was just bowling well to play in a positive way: Saeed Ajmal
Saeed Ajmal responded by saying he was only bowling positively, but Sachin Tendulkar asserted that as a charity game, the primary motive is to collect funds. Hence, the 47-year old felt that players have to enjoy the match and have fun.
“So I told him I was just bowling well to play in a positive way. So he said that ‘I agree with you, but this is a charity match, so funds have to be collected. So enjoy the match, play cricket and have fun’. So that’s what happened,” he added.