Pakistan to compensate Ajmal with own award - (AFP)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Pakistan cricket chief Zaka Ashraf on Monday announced a special award for Saeed Ajmal to compensate the wily off-spinner after he was omitted from the list of best Test player's award.
Ajmal's name was missing from the shortlist of annual awards given by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in various categories despite the spinner's 72 wickets in 12 Test from August 2011 to August 2012 - the period for awards.
That also provoked anger in Pakistan, with former players urging Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to boycott the award ceremoney due to take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka on September 15.
"Ajmal is the world's best bowler and we congratulate him and when he comes back home after the World Twenty20 we will give him an award of our own for being the number one bowler in the world," said Ashraf.
Ajmal is also ranked number one in the ICC rankings for one-day cricket.
The ICC said an independent 32-man jury comprising of former players from around the world, officials and mediamen have shortlisted the players and ruled out a review.
Australian captain Michael Clarke, Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara and South Africa's Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander were among the candidates for best Test player of the year award.
Ashraf said his board was under pressure to boycott the ceremoney.
"The PCB hasn't decided as yet on a boycott of the awards ceremony. That would be an extreme step but we are under tremendous pressure to do so," said Ashraf.
"The matter was even 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 and we had a few demonstration against that as well," said Ashraf.
Ashraf also wished the best for the Pakistan squad ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
"I wish the team the best of luck," said Ashraf. "The whole nation has high hopes from the team and pray that they win the title."
Ashraf said Pakistan were also striving to host their own Twenty20 league, on the pattern of Indian Premier League (IPL).
"We are hoping to stage our own premier league, like the pattern of the IPL, the Bangladesh Premier League and the Sri Lanka (Premier) League 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 have not hosted any international cricket since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.