Was my nigh on farce reasoning as to why the International Cricket Council ( ICC ) choose to overlook Pakistan's genius off spinner Saeed Ajmal for consideration for the Test Player of the Year.
There has been no response from the ICC to explain his omission, but reading between the lines Ajmal's figures for the year of 72 wickets at an average 24.29 indeed demand respect. But do not inspire the stand and applaud awe when put up in comparison with say a Vernon Philander's 63 wickets at an average of 15.96 and duly he is judged by the comparison. The other 3 candidates in Michael Clarke, Hashim Amla and Kumar Sangakkara are batsmen, so it is difficult to look at their respective figures and compare them with Ajmal's.
The one thing that would provide greater clarity to the debate is whether figures have been the only measure used for candidacy or if other factors have been involved. Like for example you cannot deny Michael Clarke's excellence with the bat, but then you could indeed say his Captaincy has been the more noteworthy aspect of his last year. The same as Sangakkara, very fine year with the bat, but cast in stone in the memory of all for the honour and glory he brought to the game through his Statesman like actions.
In taking this viewpoint of a greater depth inspection of the respective years, Ajmal's place in consideration is indeed mandatory
The sub plot to his true meaning to the game as a whole was the spectacular upending of the peerless English batting juggernaut that for two years previous were virtually untouchable. Within a series where he took 24 wickets at 14.7. He managed to flip the trajectory of not only thoughts on the game, but also revived the art of off spin through his genius style and bag of tricks. Much in the manner that immortals such as Erapili Prasana, Saqlain Mushtaq and Muttiah Muralitharan had done previously.
In a three Test series, his mastery had shifted the focus on the game from swing and all its varieties to a real focus on the cutting edge and sheer devastation of spin. Especially the unorthodox Ajmal incarnate which was truly devastating as highlighted by his nigh on unplayable 'Doosra'
Poor Ian Bell in it's wake was feeling much the same as Darryl Cullinan did post Warney in looking for a psychiatrists couch......
After going from averaging 118 in 2011 to a series average of 8 in the face of Ajmal. Bell was a poster child of England's batting debauchery with all of his Team mates who dominated in 2011 being reduced to cinders with a tweek of Ajmal's fingers.
Undoubtedly one of the most compelling and inspiring series of cricket seen in a long while due mainly to how the spin master mesmerised completely.
The sad part of it was during and in its aftermath was the lack of appreciation for Ajmal with every attempt made to distort a real truth with biased and jealous viewpoints pandered too. Pakistan and their players have always been cast in the role of the black sheep of the Cricket fraternity. With England always holding a silent vitriolic grudge against them and taking every chance to kick them when they are down. As well as any accomplishments being questioned, discredited and diminished.
Duly very few references were made to the craven incompetence of the English batsmen being exploited by some very high class spin bowling. Rather Bob Willis draped in his Union Jack took this line
“The off-spinner is fairly orthodox,” said Willis. “The delivery that I have a problem with is the doosra. The ICC have accommodated this delivery - they changed the rules to allow these bowlers to bend their elbow 15 degrees, which is what makes it so difficult for the batsmen.”
Describing Ajmal as being 'fairly orthodox' is akin to describing Katrina Kaif as being 'fairly plain'
Then the constant references against his action had such a yawn factor for they only had one basis as seen in this alternative view
The reason people question his action is because they are envious of what he can do.
Invariably mud sticks, and the result has been the taking of the gloss off his greatness with it quite obviously influencing the ICC and their judgements over him.
Culminating in the real reason for Saeed Ajmal's unfair omission from the candidacy for Test Player of the Year