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PCB award for Ajmal

Dubai: Saeed Ajmal will receive a special award from the Pakistan Cricket Board after the spin bowler was left off the shortlist for the International Cricket Council’s Player of the Year, chairman Zaka Ashraf said on Monday.

The omission of the top-ranked one-day International bowler from the shortlist has caused anger in Pakistan and the team could boycott the ICC awards ceremony, due to take place in Colombo on September 15.

“Saeed Ajmal, we still say you’re the No.1 bowler in the world and the PCB recognises you, and whether someone gives you the prize, that is immaterial, we don’t care,” Ashraf said.

“We congratulate you and when you come back home (after the World Twenty20) we will give you a prize for being the No.1 bowler in the world.”

Ajmal is top of the ICC’s own list of bowlers in one-day Internationals and is ranked third in Tests but was not nominated for any individual prize in the annual ICC awards.

South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander were named on the Cricketer of the Year shortlist with Australia captain Michael Clarke and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.

During the period under consideration for the award — August 4 2011 to August 6 2012 — Ajmal took 120 wickets in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals, including 24 wickets in three Tests against England in January and February.