Imran joins protest slamming Ajmal's exclusion from ICC Awards

Saeed AjmalFormer Pakistan captain Imran Khan has led a protest along with former Pakistan captains over off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's omission from the list of nominees for the ICC Awards, terming it a great injustice. [See the full list of nominees.]

"It is a great injustice to a player who is a match winner in all formats of the game and his omission was surprising," the Daily Times quoted Khan, as saying.

Ajmal was not included in a shortlist of four players for the best Test player of the year category in the ICC's annual awards to be held in Colombo on September 15.

A 32-man independent jury comprising former players, officials and journalists protested against Ajmal's omission from the shortlist, which also includes Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, Australian Michael Clarke and South Africans Vernon Philander and Hashim Amla.

Ajmal, 34, took 72 wickets in 12 Tests from August 2011 to July this year, including 24 wickets in a 3-0 rout of then world ranked number one England in January-February.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier this week lodged a protest with the ICC demanding a review of the shortlist but the body rejected it. The PCB said it was considering boycotting the ceremony.

Other cricketers too condemned Ajmal's omission.

"I feel that Ajmal was hard done by the jury and it is a serious case for review because if performers are not picked then the credibility (of awards) is missing. It's a great honour for the player to win an award and it hurts not only Pakistan but the whole community," said former captain Ramiz Raja.

"I don't know how this system is working. Maybe the system needs to be reviewed because 32 people are too much. On the basis of performance you can't overlook Ajmal and it comes as a great surprise to me," said Waqar Younis of the process.

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