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“You're number one,” PCB tells Ajmal

Published Sep 10, 2012 01:32pm


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Ajmal is top of the ICC's own list of bowlers in one-day international cricket and is ranked third in tests but was not nominated for any individual prize in the annual ICC awards. -Photo by AFP

DUBAI: Saeed Ajmal will receive a special award from the Pakistan Cricket Board after the spin bowler was left off the shortlist for the International Cricket Council's Player of the Year, chairman Zaka Ashraf said on Monday.

The omission of the top-ranked one-day international bowler from the shortlist has caused anger in Pakistan and the team could boycott the ICC awards ceremony, due to take place in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on Sept. 15.

“Saeed Ajmal, we still say you're the number one bowler in the world and the PCB recognises you, and whether someone gives you the prize, that is immaterial, we don't care,” Ashraf told a function for the Pakistan squad, in Dubai to face Australia.

“We congratulate you and when you come back home (after the World Twenty20) we will give you a prize for being the number one bowler in the world.”

Ajmal is top of the ICC's own list of bowlers in one-day international cricket and is ranked third in tests but was not nominated for any individual prize in the annual ICC awards.

South Africa's Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander were named on the cricketer of year shortlist with Australia captain Michael Clarke and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.

During the period under consideration for the award - Aug. 4 2011 to Aug. 6 2012 - Ajmal took 120 wickets in tests, ODIs and Twenty20 internationals, including 24 wickets in three tests against England in January and February.

“The PCB hasn't decided as yet on a boycott (of the ICC awards ceremony). That would be an extreme step,” Ashraf said.

“(But) we are under extreme pressure. There have been demonstrations in Pakistan, people have come out in support of Saeed Ajmal and we have conveyed the feelings of the people of Pakistan to the ICC.

“It has been taken up in parliament in Pakistan, there's a big debate going on and I don't know what the decision's going to be on that.”

Off-spinner Ajmal was reported in 2009 for having a suspect bowling action but was cleared by the ICC.


Ashraf also used the function - held to say farewell to the squad ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka - to announce the idea of a domestic Twenty20 league, something he hopes will help bring international cricket back to Pakistan.

“It will be like the pattern of the IPL (Indian Premier League), the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) and the Sri Lanka (Premier) League,” he said.

“We're going to have league matches in Pakistan and probably next March is our target. You will find international players will come over and play there and so that will be one of the major breakthroughs so teams can start coming.”

Pakistan has not hosted tests, ODIs or T20s since March 2009 when the Sri Lanka squad and match officials were targeted by gunmen in Lahore, leaving six Pakistani policemen and a driver dead.

“I'm striving that some team will come before that (March 2013),” he added.

A tour by Bangladesh fell through in April.

Ashraf did, however, rule out the possibility of playing a series against India in their current “home” of the United Arab Emirates.

“We have already suggested that to the Board of Control for Cricket in India but they have reservations about the UAE, they don't want to come and play here,” he said.

Although the two sides have met regularly in multi-team tournaments, they have not played each other in a bilateral series since December 2007.


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Comments (9) Closed

chennai Sep 10, 2012 05:54pm
Hopefully Ajmal doesn't get involved in some kind of spot fixing before that. That will be an anti climax!
Zain M Sep 11, 2012 03:20am
The President of Pakistan should give Saeed Ajmal the appropriate civil award for excellence in sports.
A.J.Siddiqui Sep 11, 2012 04:06am
Corruption in International Cricket Council (ICC) is not unprecedented, but recent induction of some monkey bussiness by one of its member state for settling scores with Pakistan is shameful and condemnable in strongest term. Cricket is gentlemen's game and it must remain be so. This type of monkey bussiness is not only tanishing the reputation of International Cricket Council (ICC), but also the beautiful game of cricket.
Genius Sep 11, 2012 06:50am
Saeed Ajmal is simply a MAGICIAN with cricket ball. Look at dismisals of Hussey brother, baily 7 Cameron White, throughout the series he is unplayable and Australian top order couldnot even understand with all the video clips
kirther Sep 11, 2012 05:44pm
PCB should not attend ICC function but instead should organize a grand function in honour of Pakistan cricket team and should also invite current cricketers and ex-cricketers, in this function Saeed Ajmal and others should be given awards for their achievements.
moon Sep 11, 2012 11:34am
what will be the name of award,?? can any body guess???
Zain M Sep 11, 2012 07:19am
That was a mean thing to say. Get the hatred out of your system
Salim Sep 11, 2012 07:55am
PCB should held a ceremony on the same night of ICC awards and give this special award to Saeed Ajmal.
Naveed Sep 11, 2012 01:26pm
Saeed you have achieved something which made 180 million Pakistanies proud.