Wednesday, 12 September 2012

ICC Awards: Ajmal can still be included, says former ICC chief

KARACHI: Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani has slammed the governing body’s response to Pakistan’s protest after its off-spinner Saeed Ajmal’s was omitted from the shortlist.
The ICC rejected the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) request to reconsider the decision and said that changing the decision of the independent jury was beyond its control and there was not enough time left as candidates were finalised.
The ICC annual award ceremony will be held in Colombo on September 15.
However, Mani said it was still possible for the governing body to make amends and the decision to snub the deserving cricketer is still reversible.
“The ICC has definitely made a mistake somewhere,” the former ICC chief told.
“The stats speak clearly for Ajmal and there is absolutely no doubt that he was a deserving candidate to be in the shortlist.
“I am aware of the selection process and its transparency but I feel the ICC has made a mistake over Ajmal. This is a mistake made at the executive level. The ICC must admit it and include the spinner among the final nominees.
“It needs strong leadership but it is still possible to make amends in the list. If I was the ICC chief I would have ordered it.
“If the Oval Test decision could be reversed twice then it is just a case of giving due credit to a deserving player and there should be no hesitation in it.”
‘PCB’s boycott plans childish’  
However, the former ICC chief criticised the reaction of the PCB which was planning a partial or complete boycott of the awards’ ceremony to record their protest.
“It will be a childish act,” said Mani. “The PCB supporting their cricketer is fine and that is their right. But boycotting the ceremony will marginalise us.
“The PCB should use other fronts to protest the decision and avoid such embarrassment in the future.
“They should raise the matter in the next ICC board meeting and call for an inquiry on the selection process made for this year.”
The awards ceremony takes place in Colombo on September 15 ahead of the 2012 World Twenty20.

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