LAHORE – Pakistani cricket fans have flayed the International Cricket Council for excluding Ajmal from the awards shortlists.

Ajmal was the top wicket-taker in Tests for the qualifying period for the award (August 4th, 2011 to August 6th, 2012) was included in the ICC's Test Team of the Year, but not nominated for any other category of the annual awards despite having his name in three categories of ICC annual award.  "The ICC is a biased institution. They are against Pakistan," said Amjad Khan, a university student. Kh Ahmad Ali, a lawyer, praised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for their stance on the matter, saying that they had strong reason to do so.

Samina Kushaf, who runs a gymnasium, said: "Although Ajmal is a glaring omission, M Hafeez should also have been considered for the Test Cricketer of the Year award. I think Hafeez has been hard done by. His performances over the last year should have given him a chance of getting into the final shortlist."

Shahjahan Latif, an engineer, said: "Pakistan should boycott the ICC awards to protest just like South Africa did in 2009 in Johannesburg after their cricketers were overlooked for awards."  Meanwhile, PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has reopened the debate surrounding Saeed Ajmal's exclusion from the ICC awards shortlists by hinting that Pakistan's players could boycott the awards function, to be held in Colombo on September 15, as a "robust protest". The ICC, responding to the PCB's protest on Monday, had ruled out a rethink and the matter seemed to have ended there. However, Ashraf's comments, made during an interview to ESPNcricinfo, suggest the issue is still alive for Pakistan. "We are facing a lot of pressure from the public and from our former players to push for his inclusion," Ashraf said.

"I think the ICC should check whether the independent jury is coming up with the best name and they should not give away the due right of any player in the world."

"If anyone else has more wickets than Ajmal, then we are ready to withdraw our concern and instead we will support their pick. But this isn't reflecting well of the ICC and they should rectify it. Meanwhile we probably have to give a second thought to even boycott the function as a robust protest."