Ajmal’s omission really shocked the PCB
Officials from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) skipped the International Cricket Council (ICC) award ceremony on September 15 in Colombo due to the omission of spinner Saeed Ajmal from the shortlist of players in contention for the top two awards.
The PCB stated that it had “decided not to [fully] boycott the awards ceremony and as a token send some squad members to the event”.
Being the top ranked bowler in both ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals, as well as the top ranked spinner in Test cricket, the PCB were astounded after learning that Ajmal had been removed from the shortlist of players in contention for the Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year award.
The PCB held a meeting, which was led by chairman Zaka Ashraf, about whether they would continue to protest about Ajmal’s omission or not.
At the end of the meeting, the PCB announced that they would raise the issue in the upcoming ICC chief executives committee meeting.
“The ICC’s process of the short-listing needs to be reviewed and there should be a mechanism to correct errors,” the PCB said via a press release.
The PCB even wrote a protest letter to the ICC and asked them to reconsider adding Ajmal back on the shortlist, but it was no good and the ICC went ahead with the candidates they had.
Ajmal was omitted from the shortlist after an independent 32-member panel, which included former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail, decided to nominate Sri Lanka wicketkeeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara, South Africa pace bowler Vernon Philander, Australia captain Michael Clarke and South Africa opening batsman Hashim Amla for Test Cricketer of the Year award.
Ajmal took 72 Test wickets, 24 of which came in one series against England at an average of 14.70, during the qualification period of August 4, 2011 and August 6, 2012.
The PCB view the the omission as “an injustice to the talent and achievements” of Ajmal.
“The PCB has strongly registered its protest with the ICC already and has conveyed them the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and fans and legends of cricket on this issue,” the press release said.
The PCB also stated that they wanted to see a change in how the players got selected.
“The matter will be raised in the upcoming CEC meeting of the ICC and a review of the process would be sought to avoid any such incidents in future. Corrective measures would be suggested. The PCB will impress upon this issue at other forums of cricketing community and all necessary input will be sought to devise a mechanism which is performance based and is acceptable to a wider segment of cricket fans,” the release added.