Top Pakistnai Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal won all the bowling honours at Pakistan’s inaugural cricket awards ceremony, after he was controversially left off the International Cricket Council’s awards list.
Despite bagging 72 wickets in 12 Tests from August 2011 to August 2012, the 35-year-old was not included in any of the ICC shortlists when they were announced in September, sparking outrage in Pakistan at the perceived injustice. Pakistan’s protest over the omission went unheeded, but at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) awards on Saturday night Ajmal was declared best Pakistan bowler for 2012 in all three formats — Test, one-day and T20. Ajmal also won the PCB’s special prize for best bowler of the year. “To be named the best for the year from such a special group, for me this is an out of this world feeling,” he said.
Ajmal took 39 wickets in six Tests last year while his tally stood at 31 in 17 one day matches and 25 in 16 Twenty20s.
All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez was named player of the year.
Nasir Jamshed was named batsman of the year in both ODIs and T20s, while the prize for the Test batsman of the year went to Azhar Ali, who scored 551 runs.
Left-arm paceman Junaid Khan was named the emerging player of the year.
Each award carried a cash prize of 200,000 rupees ($2,100) and a trophy.