KARACHI: Saeed Ajmal will not be added to the shortlist for the Test Cricketer of the Year award despite a written complaint lodged by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the off-spinner’s omission, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Ajmal, who made it to the nominations but lost out to Michael Clarke, Kumar Sangakkara, Vernon Philander and Hashim Amla in the shortlist, picked up 72 wickets from 12 Tests played in the qualifying period and the PCB had expressed its disappointment after he failed to make the cut. The ICC, however, confirmed that changes to the shortlist will not be possible now and the list remained final.
“Ajmal was in the long list of nominations for three awards and this went to a voting academy,” an ICC spokesperson told The Express Tribune. “They voted for these players and nominated their top four. This academy is representative of all countries and their votes were audited and verified by independent auditors.
“In that way, the process is already complete.”
The PCB was especially unhappy that, since only one bowler was chosen in the shortlist, Philander (56 wickets in the qualifying period) was preferred over Ajmal who, according to a board official, played ‘a huge part in the dismantling of the top-ranked Test side in the world’ in the UAE Test series earlier this year.
Ajmal’s consolation, however, was a place in the ICC Test Team of the Year as the only spinner.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.