LAHORE – The International Cricket Council (ICC) has dismissed Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) protest registered against the omission of Saeed Ajmal from the shortlist for Test Cricketer of the Year award, saying it was an independent jury who cast out the off-spinner from the list.

Earlier, the PCB had raised questions on ICC’s selection procedure and demanded of it to revise the policy. But the ICC refused to reconsider Ajmal's case. Explaining the reason for Ajmal's exclusion from the final list of nominees, the ICC spokesperson said, "It is important to understand the process which is very simple and transparent, and monitored by independent auditor Ernst & Young.

"The long lists are prepared by a five-member Selection Panel, which is headed by Mr Clive Lloyd and current year included Clare Connor (Eng), Tom Moody (Aus), Carl Hooper (WI) and Marvan Atapattu (SL).

"The shortlists are then created after the individual player awards are voted for by an academy comprising 32 highly cricket personalities from around the world. The top four players in each category with most votes are included in the shortlists," the spokesperson added.

"The ICC has no authority to change the results of the academy. The voting results are final and binding on everyone," the spokesman said. They have informed us that the ICC can not include Ajmal now as all the nominees for the different awards were voted in by a panel of experts. But we feel this process is flawed," said PCB media manager, Nadeem Sarwar.

"We have already sent another letter to the ICC making it clear we are not happy with the process and we want it to be reviewed in the first place," Sarwar added. "We sent them all the figures to argue Ajmal`s case and we just don’t think that there is any way he should not have been nominated for any of the categories," Sarwar said. "We have asked the ICC to review the entire process used to nominate players and we feel instead of voting this process must be performance based," he added.

Sarwar said the PCB didn’t agree with the voting process as Ajmal`s performance spoke for itself. Pakistan’s umpire. Aleem Dar has been winning the ICC award for `Best Umpire of the Year` for the last two successive years. Ajmal despite finishing as the top Test wicket-taker with 72 wickets in Tests between August 4, 2011 and August 6, 2012, was not included among the four nominees for the Test Cricketer of the Year award and the PCB lodged a protest with the ICC.

The omission of Ajmal`s name from the shortlist of nominees for the three major ICC annual awards i.e ‘Test Cricketer of the year`, `International player of the year` and `ODI player of the year` has caused surprise even among former greats from other test playing nations.

In 2010, England off-spinner Swann was omitted from a long list for the Cricketer of the Year award prepared by ICC itself but was included later after the ECB pleaded his case.

South Africa's fast bowler Vernon Philander was among the four shortlisted players for Test cricketer of the year award despite taking 56 wickets during the voting period while Saeed took 72 wickets.

The three other nominated players are all batsmen: Sri Lanka's Sangakkara, Aussie Michael Clarke and Hashim Amla.

Meanwhile, the former CEO of BCCP now is PCB, Arif Abbasi terming ICC decision biased and unfair and said that the world cricket body had removed the match winner who had done wonderfully well in this year.

He also accused Dave Richardson of replacing Vernon Philander in place of Saeed Ajmal. PCB should immediately demand an explanation and reasons from the ICC and if PCB feels that the explanation is not satisfactory then they must boycott the award giving ceremony.

He claimed that Saeed Ajmal was punished because he is a Pakistani and ICC did not want that any Pakistani could win its award.

PCB must protect the rights of a player who deserves a lot to be in the award list as Ajmal is a player among the few Pakistanis and a decent person and has not been involved in any controversy.

If the ICC does not give decision in the favour of Ajmal then it will be clear that it has biased approach towards Pakistani players and ICC don’t want them to excel and shine at international level.