|You snub Ajmal, we’ll snub you: PCB|
15 September 2012
After much hoola, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided against boycotting the International Cricket Council (ICC) Awards but insisted that it was not over Saeed Ajmal’s omission – it will send a few players to the event but not senior officials.
Ajmal was omitted from the final list of players nominated for the awards, which was followed by a strong reaction in Pakistan with the PCB also pondering over a boycott of the function to register a ‘protest’. A PCB press release said that the matter will be raised in the upcoming Chief Executives (CEC) meeting of the ICC, where it will seek for a review of the process of finalising the nominees.
“The matter will be raised in the upcoming CEC meeting and a review would be sought to avoid any such incidents in the future,” read a PCB statement. “Although the PCB stands with reservations on the issue, it has decided not to boycott the awards ceremony and as a token send some squad members to the event. However, no senior board official will attend the ceremony.”
Ajmal has bigger fish to fry
Meanwhile, it seems like very little fazes Ajmal.
When Bob Willis remarked that the off-spinner’s action needed to be reviewed, Ajmal was busy rattling their batting line-up during a Test series earlier this year. Later, an independent panel snubbed him from the shortlist but the wily campaigner was troubling Australia. Now, the 34-year-old has targeted the best player’s title at the World Twenty20 after attaining the top position in the Twenty20 and 50-over formats.
“I’m targeting the player-of-the-tournament title,” said Ajmal, while revealing his resolve on the mega event. “I’m working very hard and I’m confident of giving a good show for my team in Sri Lanka conditions as well. All the opposing batsmen will be my target. I will have to perform well against everyone to achieve my target in the tournament.”
Ajmal will also teach the skills, which have seen him mesmerise the opposition, to fellow spinners in the side.
“I’m not going to come up with a new delivery. I’ll just look to effectively use the weapons I already have.”
Afridi desperate to perform
Shahid Afridi, who missed the Twenty20 series against Australia due to a thumb injury, said he was ‘desperate’ to perform in the tournament.
“I am looking to regain my form,” said Afridi. “I’m aware of the expectations from me and since it’s a very important event, I will go all-out to put on a good show.”
Opener Imran Nazir, who made his national comeback in the UAE but failed to live up to expectations, wanted to play a long innings.
“The world will see me as a different player,” said Nazir. “I’ve been preparing for this for a long time and my target is to spend more time at the crease.”
Afridi, Ajmal included in ODI Team of the Year
There was good news for Pakistan ahead of the ICC Awards when Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal were named in the ODI Team of the Year.
Ajmal was also part of the Test of the Year but failed to make the cut for an individual award. MS Dhoni, meanwhile, was named captain and keeps wicket for the fifth year in a row. The team was chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd.
ODI Team of the Year
Gautam Gambhir (Ind)
Alastair Cook (Eng)
Kumar Sangakkara (SL)
Virat Kohli (Ind)
MS Dhoni (Ind, wk/c)
Michael Clarke (Aus)
Shahid Afridi (Pak)
Morne Morkel (SA)
Steven Finn (Eng)
Lasith Malinga (SL)
Saeed Ajmal (Pak)
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