Ajmal, 34, took 72 wickets in 12 Tests from August 2011 to July this year. -Photo by Reuters

KARACHI: Former Pakistan players on Thursday urged a boycott of the International Cricket Council (ICC) annual awards ceremony over the omission of spinner Saeed Ajmal from the shortlist for Test player of the year.

An independent jury comprising former players, officials and mediamen provoked anger in Pakistan after omitting the wily off-spinner from the shortlist of four candidates, which includes Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, Australian Michael Clarke and South Africans Vernon Philander and Hashim Amla.

Ajmal, 34, took 72 wickets in 12 Tests from August 2011 to July this year, including 24 wickets in a 3-0 rout of then world number one team England in January-February.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier this week lodged a protest with the ICC demanding a review of the shortlist for the September 15 ceremony to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. But the ICC said an independent jury had decided the list.

“The way the ICC has ignored Ajmal is unjust and the PCB must convey its reservations by boycotting the awards ceremony in Sri Lanka,” former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif told AFP.

Former batsman Basit Ali urged the PCB not to accept the decision.

“The decision to leave out Ajmal is inexplicable and Pakistan must not attend the ceremony,” he said.

Mohsin Khan, the former opener who coached the team that beat England this year, said the selection process should not come down to personal preferences.

“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,” 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.”

The PCB said it was considering the option of boycotting the event. A final decision is expected within the next few days.

“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 on the ICC and they should rectify it,”

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf told local media.

Around 150 youngsters took to the streets in Lahore to protest against Ajmal's omission.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (62)

September 6, 2012 9:16 pm
Who is begging? No one. We are standing up for our rights. We believe Ajmal belongs in the short list because his performance is exemplary. And to prove our point if we choose to boycott something so be it. Simple as that.He single-handedly destroyed England in UAE, you were not obviously watching or you wouldn't give these snide and immature remarks.
September 8, 2012 11:14 am
I think ajmal action is that confusing it is difficult to know which ball he not throwing I dont know how he was cleared by icc needs to recheck by icc
September 6, 2012 12:15 pm
Ajmal is a throw bowler
Ahmed Sultan (India)
September 7, 2012 10:22 am
Umpire from Pakistan is continuously winning the ICC awards. In my personal opinion i dont think pakistan should boycott it.
September 6, 2012 3:50 pm
All the nation is behind PCB on this one
September 8, 2012 8:39 am
wonderful suggestion, I approved.
September 8, 2012 8:42 am
Dear keep your opinion with you, Pakistan must boycott the ICC Awards Cer.
Akil Akhtar
September 7, 2012 1:08 am
Pakistani player will enver win as long as India owns ICC and teh Australian and English remain biased
Muhammad Waqas
September 6, 2012 4:19 pm
its likely to be........... not finalized yet we can not depend upon our govt. and PCB lets c ..........
September 6, 2012 11:20 am
Alhamdolillah !! A very good move by PCB. Hope and pray that they stick to their Stand. We as nation are behind PCB for this brave move. Well done Zaka Ashraf. We love you Sir !!
September 6, 2012 1:15 pm
I say boycott International cricket and save the game from match fixers. Pakistan isn't doing a favor to cricket anyways. Cry baby cry..
September 6, 2012 2:45 pm
You are suggesting that the nation is supposed to cancel everything else until the solution of the case of an 11 year old?
September 6, 2012 9:11 pm
What do you mean cry baby? Cant you read? Ajmal's figures speak for themselves. Tell us honestly why you think he should not be on the shortlist. Looks like you know nothing about cricket.
September 6, 2012 3:43 pm
pl get ur eyes tested
September 6, 2012 10:57 pm
PCB should not be emotional. They did the right thing by protesting. Next right thing to do is BOYCOTT the discriminatory ceremony. And this is not emotional. This is Dignity/Self Respect ;). Do you think if PCB attends the ceremony, ICC or anyone else will think high or better of us.. NO they wont change. Boycott the ceremony and you make it clear that we dont agree with ICC, attend the ceremony and you agree that AJMAL dint deserve to be shortlisted.. simple as that... Theres no sportmanship issues etc crap.... anyone concerned about matchfixers--well pakistan's naive players coerced into match fixing have been punished more severely than worldwide established corrupt players. So ICC shouldnt take that into account for awards ;)
September 7, 2012 12:20 pm
I watched him and I strongly believe his action is suspect. ICC cleared him, and at that time no one called ICC biased and now ICC is biased ? Whenever Pakistan wins all is well for Pakistanis, but whenever they loose they claim the match was fixed ! I can quote several examples. Why is that ? Whenever things go wrong for you, you guys try to destroy the very integrity of the system. Destruction of English batsmen in UAE is not a big deal for a spinner. I repeat that it will be foolish on part of Pakistan to boycott ICC awards ceremony and think 2 steps beyond that. No one will really care.
September 6, 2012 1:34 pm
cricket is more important to "Us as a nation" than the life of an 11 year old. "SubhanAllah"
September 8, 2012 8:49 am
why you people are scared with ajmal? If he has the tallent he has, please eccept the reality.
Imran Sheikh
September 6, 2012 1:51 pm
Whatever happened to sportsmanlike behavior ? Decisions sometimes go against one, unfairly, but that does not call for this kind of undignified response. Saeed Ajmal should strive to do even better and make those biased against him recognize his effort, like Usain Bolt. For now, he should remember Marcus Cato who said " I would rather have men ask why I have no statue, than why I have one".
Naeem syed
September 6, 2012 2:26 pm
You watch too much baseball to know what cricket is all about. Throw bowler indeed. You must be talking about Lasit Malinga.
September 8, 2012 8:52 am
I don't agree with your logic. The PCB registerred there protest by boycotting the ceremony.
September 6, 2012 2:12 pm
If they had included Ajmal's name, how woudl that change anythying in Pakistan or Pkaistni cricket other than boosting our ego? Please let us stop being emotional and focus on what is important.
Raees Javeri
September 6, 2012 2:23 pm
Why are you connecting 11 year old Ramsha with game of Cricket.If you don't like sports then go to a masjid and become a Mullah.Narrow minded !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
September 6, 2012 12:23 pm
ICC has all along ignored Pakistan as if they are not part of the game. Influential members have tried to ruin international cricket in Pakistan by putting a ban on teams visiting Pakistan. It is high time that ICC should know that these kinds of actions are not liked in Pakistan. They change the rules when England says to include there player for the award but snub Pakistan when same thing is said. Pakistan should boycott the awards ceremony.
September 6, 2012 5:32 pm
"Boycotting will send strong signals" to whom? In current circumstances nobody cares about pakistan cricket.This is nothing but pakistan's desperate attempt for attention.
September 6, 2012 12:11 pm
Loosers. It is like begging - either let us win OR give us awards because cricket is our only hope. Pakistanis always blame BCCI to try to armtwist ICC, I wonder if PCB had same resources as BCCI what they would have done! ICC is not going to change its decision based on blackmail tactics and it is foolish decision on part of PCB.
September 8, 2012 8:55 am
you must be a part of indian loby who always disgraced pakistan by all mean. think possitive.
September 6, 2012 7:16 pm
Match fixing isn't just Pakistan problem, rather the whole cricket nations. Corruption is big part of Cricket sadly
Ahmed Sultan (India)
September 10, 2012 4:45 am
Do it nobody will even bother
September 6, 2012 3:16 pm
Maybe Ajmal bhai should try bowling without his full sleeve shirts. LOL!
September 7, 2012 3:47 am
What about English who introduced gambling and legalised it by passing an act in the parliament decades ago (India existed at that time while Pakistan did not)? what about the circus called IPL which is nothing but gambling? Main culprits are some one else who always put Pakistan in the spot light and escape from the backdoor
September 7, 2012 12:09 am
Voice of reason, cannot agree more
September 6, 2012 3:57 pm
Thanks WER!! I absolutely agree! how shameful for the nation!
September 6, 2012 3:58 pm
oh may goog pak and pcb are getting competent!
September 6, 2012 3:58 pm
So what u keep ur mouth shut
September 6, 2012 7:43 pm
The PCB can go two ways. One attend the ceremony, and next time a Pakistan wins this award, don't go. Second don't attend the ceremony. I think when Pakistani player does win he should refuse to take the award. That will show that we don't care about the award. Anway Ajmal is doing so well that his name will come up next year, and then he should tell where the ICC, can go.(HELL)
September 6, 2012 7:41 pm
I agree with Junaid. Exclusion of Ajmal is a serious concern and has to be rectified. An official letter of concern has to be sent to ICC to explain the reason as to why was Ajmal not considered. Once PCB finds out the reason, then think about boycotting the ceremony. SA boycotted it in the past, it was a totally different scenario back in 2009. ICC can not single out a country because of no valid reason.....
September 6, 2012 7:35 pm
Ernst and Young???
September 6, 2012 7:34 pm
Yes. As any boycott will further alienate the team and board. They most likely don't care enough if Pakistan attend or not.
September 8, 2012 9:31 am
Accept the reality that We Pakistanies are the best. work hard. Ajmal your are No.1.
Akil Akhtar
September 7, 2012 1:11 am
Have some self respect for once. If you do not protest they will not care that is how the west works. They are bullies and you have to stand up to them.
September 6, 2012 10:22 pm
There is nothing childish about letting your displeasure be known. If takes a boycott, then so be it.
Akil Akhtar
September 7, 2012 1:14 am
We have all seen how BCCI behaves when they don't get what they even do not desrve.
Akil Akhtar
September 7, 2012 1:14 am
Another narrow minded indian
September 7, 2012 2:16 am
It shows the ICC's historic bias agaisnt Pakistan.
September 9, 2012 7:51 am
I agree. Moreover what PCB has done to recognize Saeed Ajmal's efforts. Pakistan should keep a low profile and try to improve their game in all format of cricket. Priority for Pakistan is to restore its credibility.
Tanveer Baig
September 6, 2012 1:03 pm
Its right suggestion that PCB should boycott the ceremony of ICC awards, if they don't add the name of Saeed Ajmal in the short list. PCB should protest against this injustice.
September 7, 2012 4:46 am
Agree with Junaid - I thought the PCB would behave better now that Ijaz Butt has been replaced.
September 8, 2012 6:38 pm
Not fair Sir, He is a class act but he does not have the right to be elected to the position we are talking about. If you are cricket lovers learn to respect each other. Have your say without being abusive. Thank you.
September 6, 2012 3:13 pm
Boycotting will not send a positive message to anyone. PCB has to create a positive image in the ICC specialy after the match fixing scandal. Pakistani team is not well liked in international arena due to several reasons of the past. Now boycotting will be addition to the pile. PCB's official protest was good enough reaction. I think PCB will be more respected if it simply attends the ceremony with ' agree to disagree' attitude.
September 7, 2012 3:10 am
finally enough is enough pakistan should have done that when they entrap our players in england what is icc nothing they are not god
September 6, 2012 7:45 pm
PiroShah:Even after staying in the West bhaniya mentality will not change.
September 6, 2012 12:47 pm
I completely agree with PCB. ICC just cannot rely on E&Y for the selection. Having worked for one of the big five, I can tell how influencing the internal politics and personal preferences/favoritism are in these organizations.
Muhammad Asif
September 7, 2012 11:39 am
well said. agreed
September 7, 2012 6:08 am
Even if included Ajmal is unlikely to win. Boycott the ceremony would not achieve much. Publish the names of experts and boycott their services. Best revenge is served cold. Beat South Africa in SA and win the T-20 world cup. We have the potential and this incident can be the spark which ignites the ignored Tigers.
September 7, 2012 1:42 pm
Have your eyes tested..... 72 wickets in 12 tests don't come via throwing
Muhammad Asif
September 7, 2012 11:38 am
Aamir Sohail and Abdul Majid Bhatti were from Pakistan, among the panel of those 30 "experts". I do not know the names of the rest. ICC should also publicize the names of the panel experts and their opinion to make the process transparent. This will reduce the chances of biases. In the future, ICC should remove the panel and introduce an objective criteria based on scoring, directly related to on-field performances on fielding, bowling, batting and keeping. The criteria should be published and well understood by all. A lay-man having a calculator-expertise should also be able to calcualte who is the top performer. This will remove all flaws from the subjective selection by the "experts".
Fen Tian
September 7, 2012 6:16 am
Does any one here remember that 9 decisions went against Pakistan in 1st Cricket test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and that too were made by ICC Umpires (who knows they were instructed to give 9 horrendous decisions) against Pakistan.I can digest one or two,but 9 decisions in match is bit difficult to digest.Just wondering whether its conspiracy hatched at ICC HQ.Its anybody guess that now this incident has confirmed conspiracy theory.
September 6, 2012 2:21 pm
If he is, Then why dont you make a case against him? Prove it if you are right or else keep Quiet. He has been cleared by the ICC for your information Mr Ahmed !
(Dr.) B.N. Anand
September 6, 2012 6:53 pm
Sir, Pakistan has every right to appeal to ICC for this injustice, if at all they feel so. Well once the appeal has been heard and the decision reviewed and it still the original decision stays, please accept it with grace. Pakistan is already a victim of circumstances as for as this game of cricket is concerned, it should not further damage its cause by taking any such emotional decision. That is my view whether it is us or you. People may differ but that is the gentlemanliness to swim with the stream rather than to stray away and then feel frustrated for getting isolated. BNA
September 6, 2012 8:19 pm
This is childish and not like sprtmanship. My way is highway?
September 8, 2012 9:11 am
Dear Shree I am sure that you are from india, and please be accept the reality that the Pakistani bowlers are the best (in past, and now) if you don't know asked to Tendulkar, gangoli and the rest of indian cricket players.
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