Pakistan news September 6, 2012

Pakistan could boycott ICC awards over Ajmal omission


PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has reopened the debate surrounding Saeed Ajmal's exclusion from the 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, made during an interview to ESPNcricinfo, suggest 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 said. "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 Test Player of the Year award but missed out when an independent 32-member jury, which included former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail and Pakistan journalist Majid Bhatti, nominated Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara, South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander, Australia captain Michael Clarke and South Africa opener Hashim Amla in that category.

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. On Thursday, he was revealed as the top bowler in the ODI rankings.

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).

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    Who cares as to whether Pakistan attend the Awards or not!

  • roy on September 9, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    ICC is a joke. They have no authority anyway. If PCB wants to make a case they should be talking to BCCI, where all the decisions are made. Award or no award, Ajmal u r da best bowler in the world rite now and u rock !!!

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    for me its not a good idea to bycott icc awards no doubt about ajmal is the best bowler in the world at the moment this is enough for us that he is performing well and his confidence is sky high at the moment

  • Dummy4 on September 8, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    pakistan should boycott icc awards over ajmal omission because no one can beat ajmal in bowling & he is the best spinner in the world and for prove check out his bowling figures.........

  • Imran on September 8, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    All boards should support PCB. ICC must be govern fair. Though Ajmal the majacian dont need any ICC fairest panels award as he has great rewards of winning fans hearts all around the world.

  • Tahir on September 8, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    @ vsssarma : if this is the reason then plz tell ICC that don't call it 'cricketer of the year' because it sounds ridiculous. it will be better 'test player of the year'. ICC just 3rd class sports administration.

  • Dummy4 on September 8, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Actually i don't even watch that pathetic award ceremony. Last year it was below the average and nothing was there except awards given to some of the top players. At the end every one goes for the winners list and that's all.

  • Waseem on September 8, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    not a good approach.we need to get over it.anyway Amla deserves it more than anybody and should win it

  • Sarma on September 8, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Tahir_Anjum: The cricketer of the year award is only meant for test match performance, not for T-20s, ODIs. There is no point in adding all of them together as their formats are totally different. Test match cricket is considered the real cricket. Cricket has Batting; Bowling and Fielding. To nominate some player as the best cricketer, you have to consider all the tests played by the player; in each test how the player excelled the other 21 players in batting, in bowling and in fielding. Considering all these things together is not humanly possible, hence I took the help of a computer algorithm that estimated MJ Clarke as the player of the period under consideration. I am no baby as I am 57 year old, mathematician, engineer and have been following the game for 43 years. I use differential mathematics to do the evaluation. Tks.

  • Abrar on September 8, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    to me Vernon Philander is an Average bowler who can be good on green wickets and Bowler Friendly Conditions...let him come and play in Asia in Sri Lanka and India specially, I believe his career will be over there..

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