Pakistan could boycott ICC awards over Ajmal omission
07 September, 2012
KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has reopened the debate surrounding off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's exclusion from the International Cricket Council (ICC) awards shortlists by hinting that Pakistan's players could boycott the awards function, to be held in Colombo on September 15, as a 'robust protest.'
KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has reopened the debate surrounding off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's exclusion from the International Cricket Council (ICC) awards shortlists by hinting that Pakistan's players could boycott the awards function, to be held in Colombo on September 15, as a ‘robust protest.' The ICC, responding to the PCB's protest on Monday, had ruled out a rethink and the matter seemed to have ended there.
However, Ashraf's comments suggest that the issue is still alive for Pakistan. “We are facing a lot of pressure from the public and from our former players to push for his inclusion,” Ashraf was quoted as saying. “I think the ICC should check whether the independent jury is coming up with the best name and they should not give away the due right of any player in the world. If anyone else has more wickets than Ajmal, then we are ready to withdraw our concern and instead we will support their pick. But this isn't reflecting well of the ICC and they should rectify it. Meanwhile we probably have to give a second thought to even boycott the function as a robust protest.”
Ajmal was in the longlist for the award this year but missed out when an independent 32-member jury, that included former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail, nominated Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara, South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander, Australia captain Michael Clarke and South Africa opener Hashim Amla for Test Cricketer of the Year. Ajmal took 72 Test wickets between August 4, 2011 and August 6, 2012 – the qualifying period for the award – including 24 at 14.70 as Pakistan swept aside England, the then No. 1 side in the world, 3-0 in January. He has climbed to No. 3 in the ICC Test bowling rankings and is the highest ranked spinner. After the PCB lodged the protest, the ICC refused to reconsider Ajmal's case, saying it had no authority to change the results of the academy. The process was monitored by the independent auditor Ernst & Young, and the longlist was prepared by a five-member selection panel headed by Clive Lloyd and included Clare Connor (England), Tom Moody (Australia), Carl Hooper (West Indies) and Marvan Atapattu (Sri Lanka).