Dawn News

Ajmal exclusion great injustice: Imran Khan

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 ranked number one England in January-February. -Photo by AP

DUBAI: Cricketing legend Imran Khan led a protest of former Pakistan captains over off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's omission from a list of annual awards, terming it a great injustice.

The wily spinner was not included in a shortlist of four players for the best Test player of the year category in the International Cricket Council (ICC) annual awards to be held in Colombo on September 15.

A 32-man independent jury comprising former players, officials and journalists provoked anger in Pakistan after omitting Ajmal from the shortlist, 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 ranked number one England in January-February.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier this week lodged a protest with the ICC demanding a review of the shortlist but the game's governing body rejected it.

The PCB said it was considering boycotting the ceremony.

Khan said Ajmal's omission was unjust.

“It is a great injustice to a player who is a match winner in all formats of the game and his omission was surprising,” Khan told reporters during the second Twenty20 match between Pakistan and Australia here on Friday.

Another former captain Ramiz Raja said Ajmal was hard done by the jury.

“I feel that Ajmal was hard done by the jury and it is a serious case for review because if performers are not picked then the credibility (of awards) is missing,” Raja told AFP.

Raja said an award is an honour for the player.

“It's a great honour for the player to win an award and it hurts not only Pakistan but the whole community,” said Raja, now a renowned commentator.

Former captain and coach Waqar Younis said he didn't understand the system.

“I don't know how this system is working,” said Waqar of the process.

“Maybe the system needs to be reviewed because 32 people are too much.

“On the basis of performance you can't overlook Ajmal and it comes as a great surprise to me.”

Comments (30) Closed

Jay malik
Sep 08, 2012 10:59pm
Our image is so bad that it spills over into rejecting our great champions. One wonders if we are doomed for decades or centuries. Shame on so called neutral juries - biased and jealous lot. Ajmal you are our hero and you have our award. JS
Sep 08, 2012 03:05pm
The PCB should talk to ICC on numbers only as it is hard to neglect statistics and numbers and i think they have a very very strong case here and they should use some diplomatic efforts to rally support from other Boards specially Indian as ; 1.They are not contending. 2.They have a much stronger say in ICC. And if nothing works we should simply go there and then register a walk out so that it is recorded on media for the cricketing world to see.I am surprised our own media is as mum as a mummy.
Sep 09, 2012 06:10am
Why you need to beg for an award? Who cares about such bodies and awards. You already have enough. What's the big deal not getting one from ICC.
Sep 08, 2012 05:41pm
it is really pleasent to listen ex captains backing up ajmal,s exclusion from awardees list. Shame on ICC
Sep 08, 2012 03:01pm
How can Ajmal be included in award winning players short list WHEN Ajmal routed 3-0 the world's Best Team England ? Understand friends that there is POLITICS in cricket as well !!!!!!
Sep 09, 2012 09:26am
no you boycott this colonial sport which has muslim blood on it - find out who was on the bench
Sep 09, 2012 09:29am
PCB should not only boycott the awards but hold its own awards on the same night, with the exact same categories used by ICC.
Sep 09, 2012 08:00am
The protests would have even been stronger if an Indian would have been shortlisted. Further amla is more practicing Muslim then ajmal, and he was chosen, so....
Abdullah Hussain
Sep 08, 2012 04:13pm
They are jealous and could not digest the bowling excellence of this mesmerizing Pakistani bower. Ajmal has proved his excellence in the field, he is a real treat to watch in action.
Abdullah Hussain
Sep 08, 2012 04:14pm
They are jealous and could not digest the bowling excellence of this mesmerizing Pakistani bowler. Ajmal has proved his excellence in the field, he is a real treat to watch in action.
Sep 09, 2012 12:14pm
it clearly shows how unprofessional these so called professionals are in this ICC committee ........shame on ICC................I propose a "shame on ICC" page on social media to register our reactions.....
Sep 09, 2012 07:57am
Can we get the list of 32 independent Jury. It seems the Asian block didn't support the case of Saeed Ajmal. Pakistan answer should be on the field and not off the field. Pakistan should not boycott the ceremony.
Sep 09, 2012 03:13am
ICC is following a political agenda!
Sep 08, 2012 03:28pm
They should put a black strip on their arm as a protest on third match with Australia in UAE...
Sep 08, 2012 10:02pm
The ICC is a useless, toothless, self-serving institution. There is precedence when they overlooked players in the past and revised their list - why on earth can't they do it in this case?! It defies all logic..... Shame on you ICC.
Sep 09, 2012 10:21am
ICC, The Shameless, ruthless, mercyless
Sep 09, 2012 01:43am
If it was India....ICC would be trouble!!! We fight only in the name of False beliefs....which is not any ones choice and we cannot complain to Lord Mater
Fen Tian
Sep 09, 2012 01:49am
It has been trend that teams which have peaked just before world cup have gone to be winners.Pakistan has peaked at right time and seems unbeatable in T20 format.They are going to crush anybody on the way.Watch out for Pakistan in this month T20 world cup.
Sep 09, 2012 01:53am
Yes Pakistanis start accusing INDIA and BCCI for this I know I know we Indians are responsible .... Water is less in your house point finger at India ..Rain India is responsible too hot India !!!!
Sep 08, 2012 01:53pm
As someone noted at espncricinfo.com ... it is actually a subjective, perceptions'-based award rather than an objective, performance-based ... so one should expect such controversies anyway ... but if PCB Does Disagree, it should look into the possibility of getting support from other national cricket boards which may give statements regarding the flawed short-listing process, if not boycott awards with PCB. If that doesn't happen, it could indicate that we 'might' be over-reacting...?
Sep 08, 2012 05:30pm
The excuse that ICC has come up with says that even the members of committee representing Pakistan did not nominate him. It is very obvious that the Pakistani members will not nominate their own countryman since that would have been viewed as partial. If the ICC could not amend the process and take a rigid stand then the award is not worth striving for. Performance speaks louder than awards. PCB should file a strong protest and but use cool head and exercise their grievances at the time of voting for any award or policy matters. Improve infrastructure and make local cricket better. That's all.
Sep 09, 2012 01:03pm
ICC means Indian Cricket Council
Sep 09, 2012 04:10am
In a nutshell - cricket is still a game of a white-man or his mentality.
Sep 08, 2012 08:46pm
I don't see why we should protest formally. We play to win matches not to receive personal rewards. Of course it's an injustice he's been overlooked despite being a stand out player this year, but then what more do you expect
Sep 10, 2012 04:52am
ICC is biased and all the key post holds by India, and every decision comes from this body has been dictated by India. So in my Opinion Pakistan should boycott the Awards.
Sep 10, 2012 06:53am
Its plain politics!
HM, Canada
Sep 09, 2012 07:02am
Boycott the ceremony ... Send message that we care for our players...
Sep 11, 2012 10:07am
For your kind information, there isn't a single Indian in that jury. What was Aamir sohail , who was part of the jury doing. Why don't you blame him for not putting forth Ajmal's case???
Sep 09, 2012 07:18am
may be its his doosra, his action or the fact that he has taken wickets on slow spinner friendly wickets where as the nominees have performed well under all conditions!!
Sep 09, 2012 06:38am
ICC has historic bias against Pakistan.