"MS Dhoni Got Man Of The Match Award For Dropping 2 Catches": Saeed Ajmal Vents Out Frustration
Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal hit out at the decision-makers after MS Dhoni beat him to the Man of the Match award in an Indo-Pak ODI in 2013.
Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal was once one of the finest bowlers in the world. Having also topped the ICC charts in multiple formats, Ajmal has done wonders for the Pakistan team over the years. However, the spinner still has a regret, which is the fact that he failed to earn the Man of the Match award against India during an ODI series in 2013 despite picking up a 5-wicket-haul. Instead, according to Ajmal, the award went to India skipper MS Dhoni despite the fact that he had only scored 18-20 runs in the game and also dropped two catches.
In a chat on the Nadir Ali podcast, Ajmal expressed his disappointment at the decision that saw Dhoni being named the 'Man of the Match' instead of him after Pakistan lost to India in a low-scoring match.
"I think it was my bad luck. Against India in 2013, I bowled an outstanding spell in the first two ODIs. We won those games. In the third match, we dismissed India for 175. I took five wickets. Chasing a total of 175, we touched 100 with lots of wickets in hand, still we lost.
Ajmal said that it was wrong for Dhoni to be awarded the Man of the Match as he had performed poorly. Till date, Ajmal hasn't been able to understand how the wicket-keeper batter got the award.
"MS Dhoni got the Player of the Match award in that game. Dhoni scored some 18 runs and dropped 2 catches, still got Man of the Match. So that's wrong. You tell me what is the meaning of Man of the Match. The player who performs the best in the game gets the Man of the Match," he added.
"I took five wickets in that match, but India won the match, so they gave the award to Dhoni. He scored only 18-20 runs and dropped catches. How did he get Man of the Match? I should have received the Man of the Match award in that game," the former Pakistan spinner asserted.
The match Ajmal seemed to be talking about is from Pakistan's 2012-13 tour of India. In the third ODI< India scored 167 runs (not 175) but still managed to beat Pakistan by 10 runs. Dhoni top-scored for India with 36 runs (not 18-20) while Ajmal bagged 5 wickets.