“The atmosphere, wherever we play, is always electric and I’m sure the fans lucky enough to be at Edgbaston and all those watching the telecast around the world will not be disappointed by this match. It’s like a mini-final within the tournament,” he said.
He believed Pakistan will have a psychological advantage having beaten India in their own den earlier this year. “We have the psychological advantage having defeated India in their own backyard in the one-day series and I’m confident that we can defeat them in Birmingham,” Ajmal said in an interview to the Pakpassion.net website.
Names don’t matter
He also said that the absence of big players in the Indian team would count for nothing when the two teams cross swords. “Big names are replaced by lesser known players who then turn into big names. The cycle of cricket goes on, no cricketer lasts forever and no cricketer has a God-given right to be picked again and again. If a player is out of form or struggling for form then it’s only right that he is replaced by a player who is in form,” he explained.
Asked about the omission of Pakistan players from the Indian Premier League, he said there were no hard feelings and it is something which the players can’t control. “It’s not as if we are being stopped from playing cricket everywhere around the world. Whether Pakistani cricketers are allowed to play in the IPL is a matter for those that organise the tournament.
“If the organisers invite us to play in the future, we will play, but if they don’t invite us then good luck to them. Of course I’d like to play in the IPL, but it’s a decision that’s out of my hands at the moment,” he said. Ajmal admitted that the PCB instructed him to lose some weight. “I had to stop the parathas and eating sweetmeats which was the toughest part of the routine,” he said.