‘Ajmal deserved to be shortlisted’


Pressure is mounting on the PCB to boycott the annual ICC awards ceremony after the world governing body refused to include off-spinner Saeed Ajmal in the final list of nominations for any category. “Ajmal deserved to be shortlisted for either the Test cricketer of the year or ODI player of the year award. The way the ICC has ignored him is unjust and the PCB must convey its reservations by boycotting the awards ceremony in Sri Lanka,” reports quoted Pakistan’s former captain, Rashid Latif as saying. Latif was not the only one to express his displeasure at the ICC’s decision to not reconsider Ajmal despite a plea from the PCB. “This ICC process to shortlist players is clearly flawed because cricket is all about performance, not personal likes and dislikes. Better if the PCB boycotts the awards function,” former Test player and ex-coach of the national team, Mohsin Khan said. “It will at least send out a strong message to the ICC. South Africa also did it in 2009 when their deserving players were ignored for the awards,” Mohsin, who has also remained a chief selector, said. The annual ICC awards ceremony, due to be held on September 15, has become the bone of contention for Pakistan cricket after the ICC panel of experts omitted Ajmal’s name. The omission has already led to the PCB writing letters to the ICC, expressing its dissent with the decision, and pointed out that Ajmal was the top wicket-taker in Tests in the qualifying period for the awards, taking 72 wickets in 12 games and was also placed second in the ODI top bowlers list. Latif said the ICC was duty-bound to simplify the process of finalising the rankings. Former Pakistan batting legend Zaheer Abbas too was very critical of the omission of Ajmal from the final awards list. In his views he was one of the bowlers who has kept the world cricket in a spin with his performance but the ICC see must make the process of selection simple. “How can they ignore Ajmal when he has performed brilliantly and led Pakistan to a 3-0 clean sweep over the world’s top Test side England this year.”