Pakistan news September 3, 2012

PCB objects to Ajmal omission

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Pakistan Cricket Board has lodged a protest with the ICC after Saeed Ajmal, the offspinner, was left off the shortlist for the ICC Test player of the year. He was included on the longlist for the award, and the PCB has requested a review, hoping Ajmal will be added to the shortlist.

Ajmal, 34, 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. He was also selected in the ICC Test team of the year.

But despite his success, Ajmal was omitted from the four-man shortlist that features South Africa's Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara and Australia captain Michael Clarke. The list is voted for by a 30-member panel of former players, officials and journalists and the award will be presented at a ceremony in Colombo on September 15.

"During the voting period Ajmal produced some significant performances including the series against England," a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "It's fair to show a concern on Ajmal's omission from the top performers and hence the PCB has written to the ICC and expect them to reconsider."

There is precedent for the ICC to add names to the list of candidates for their awards. In 2010, Graeme Swann was omitted from the longlist for the Cricketer of the Year award but after the ECB put up his case, the ICC included his name after admitting an "oversight." Swann was then shortlisted before missing out to Sachin Tendulkar. South Africa have also taken umbrage to the list of candidates in the past, boycotting the 2009 ceremony in Johannesburg after their cricketers were overlooked for awards.