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Author Topic: Fourth and final Test is likely to be called off after today's extraordinary sce  (Read 12203 times)

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ramshorns

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ECB official indicates Test in doubt

Cricinfo and AFP

August 19, 2006


 
The umpires consult after the decision was made to change the ball © Getty Images
 
 

Breaking news - 7.50pm The vice chairman of the ECB, Mike Soper, has just announced that he believes that the fourth and final Test is likely to be called off after today's extraordinary scenes.

Now Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul have all left the building; they didn't stop to speak to anyone but also they had no kit with them. Once again absolutely no information is coming out at all and all the signs are utterly conflicting. The high-level meeting is still taking place in the players' dining room, but there has been no announcement coming out of it as of yet.

Duncan Fletcher and Matthew Maynard have just walked past and they spoke to the journalists to say they didn't know what the situation is.

We will keep you updated with progress.


*******

The fourth and final Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval was plunged into controversy on Sunday in an ugly row over ball-tampering. The tourists risked forfeiting the Test after making a tea-time protest over being docked five runs for allegedly altering the state of the ball.

But just as it had seemed the match was about to restart, the Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said a fresh delay had been caused by the refusal of umpire Darrell Hair to continue standing in the match. Pakistan were docked five runs at the end of the fourth day's 56th over which had been bowled by paceman Umar Gul.

It was Gul's 14th over with England 230 for 3 when the umpires inspected the match ball. Play was eventually called off for the day at 6.13pm local time (1713GMT) with England 298 for four in their second innings, a deficit of 33, with the future of the match still uncertain as the crisis meeting is yet to take place.

As the meeting got underway at 7.30pm local time (8.30GMT), a band of journalists, including Cricinfo, were told in no uncertain terms that they must get out of the building it was taking place. The meeting will determine, among other things, whether the match goes ahead tomorrow. It is believed that Mike Procter, the two umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove, Bob Woolmer and an England representative James Avery were present. It's not known whether Duncan Fletcher is attending.

The players, meanwhile, left the ground with a police escort. As at 7.30pm, there was a strong police presence at the Oval, though it is purely precautionary - there are two policemen inside the pavilion and a line of them outside. As one policeman explained to Cricinfo, there was no information given to the crowds all day long and the bars were still open, and that combination makes for an inflammatory situation in his experience. And indeed the crowds were getting restless. "If I had bought a ticket for the day," he added, "I wouldn't be impressed."

The controversy began at 2.30pm local (1330GMT) when veteran Australian official Hair, standing with West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove, signalled to the scorers that five penalty runs were to be added to England's total, taking it up to 235.

Then, after an early tea had been taken because of bad light, the umpires walked back out onto the field at 4.40pm local time (1540GMT) only for no Pakistan fieldsmen to follow behind them before walking back in. Some 15 minutes later the umpires returned followed by England batsmen Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell only for the Pakistan team to remain in their dressing room.

The batsmen and umpires walked back in, with Pakistan - already a losing 2-0 down in the series - in danger of forfeiting the match. Both umpires removed the bails, returned to the pavilion and the covers came on.

Pakistan then appeared on the field, to boos from the crowd, at 5.25pm (1625GMT) but there were neither stumps in the pitch nor umpires. After several minutes without either Hair or Doctrove, or the England batsmen, Pakistan walked back off. The fresh delay was caused by Hair's refusal to continue.

Cricket's Law 21.3 states clearly states "that, in the opinion of the umpires, a team refuses to play, the umpires shall award the match to the other side." This was the first time such a five-run penalty for ball-tampering had been imposed in Test cricket, an International Cricket Council [ICC] spokesman said.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer told AFP: "The team is upset that they have been accused of tampering with the ball and therefore 'cheating'. "It is a no-win situation as now Darrell Hair has refused to umpire."

The PCB chairman Shahrayar Khan, who had talks with England counterpart David Morgan, insisted the reason for the continuing impasse lay at the door of the umpires. "The boys are extremely upset at the slur of ball tampering. As a result they registered a protest with the match referee for the decision unilaterally taken by the umpires.

"Once we did that, we were ready to go out and play but it seems the umpires are reluctant to go out. The whole team felt very aggrieved and Inzy (Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq) more angered than the rest. He felt we should make a protest but once that had been registered he was perfectly prepared to go on.

"We felt very deeply insulted by what was in the umpire's report and there seems to have been no evidence given. I felt the matter had been resolved but it now seems the umpires are reluctant.

"We feel it is extraordinary that we are ready to come out and the umpires say they cannot continue. It is very sad. I don't know what's going to happen in the future. I want the tour to continue," said Shahriyar ahead of the five-match one-day between England and Pakistan.

The match referee Mike Procter said talks would continue. "Following issues raised by the onfield umpires, which need to be resolved, meetings will be held between the match referee and both teams after play to determine whether any further play will be scheduled in this match."

Umpires have refused to stand in Tests before although the majority of major flashpoint incidents came in the days before the introduction of 'neutral' officials. Back in 1973, English umpire Arthur Fagg stayed off the field during a Test match between England and the West Indies at Edgbaston after being upset by West Indian reaction to his decision to give England's Geoff Boycott not out, although he did later take the field.

And in Dunedin in 1980 the West Indies briefly refused to take the field during a Test in protest at New Zealand official Fred Goodall.

At Faisalabad in 1987, Pakistan's Shakoor Rana refused to stand until he'd received an apology from England captain Mike Gatting after the pair had had an on-field row. Gatting scribbled an apology and the match continued.

Pakistan's 1992 tour of England was blighted by allegations of ball-tampering with pace great Waqar Younis, now Pakistan's bowling coach, coming under intense scrutiny.

And in 2000 Waqar himself received a one-match ban for ball tampering following a one-day international against South Africa in Sri Lanka while Azhar Mahmood was fined for "abetting" the infringment in the same match.

The Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, ruled out of the current series with because of an ankle injury, received a reprimand in November 2002 for the same offence after a Test match against Zimbabwe in Harare.

And the following year, in May, Shoaib was given a two-match ban for ball tampering after a one-day international against New Zealand in Dambulla.

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ramshorns

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 
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LosingNow

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Technically, the match is over as Pakistan forfeited by not showing up.
http://www.cricketvoice.com/cricketforum2/index.php?topic=4943.msg63035#msg63035

Wonder how ICC will finagle their way out of this.

If Hair/Doctrove explained things to Inzy .. Pak cannot not show up on the field. period.
If Hair/Doctrove did not explain things and ascertain the full intent .. they did not do their job .. and that may be Pak's out and should lead to firing of both Hair/Doctrove.

If they continue the game tomorrow with Hair/Doctrove umpiring.. it will set a wierd precedent. It will technically legitimize any teams' action, anytime they dont show up on the ground for any minor disagreement with the umpire
 
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pieterSAN

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
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LosingNow

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.
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pieterSAN

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.

Yeah, it was not smart thinking by Inzy and folks. They should know that umpires have the power to call the match when the opposition does not take field. They still have a good chance of winning the game if play resumes tomorrow. If it does not, they pretty much shot themselves by making this statement.

They could have protested against the decision in so many better ways. The statement they made by delaying proceedings by 5-10 minutes only to come back out was weak. They look like idiots now.
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dextrous

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.

Yeah, it was not smart thinking by Inzy and folks. They should know that umpires have the power to call the match when the opposition does not take field. They still have a good chance of winning the game if play resumes tomorrow. If it does not, they pretty much shot themselves by making this statement.

They could have protested against the decision in so many better ways. The statement they made by delaying proceedings by 5-10 minutes only to come back out was weak. They look like idiots now.

I disagree. They don't look like idiots. Who cares if they win or lose, it's the statement that's important at this point. Hair must go.
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sgusa

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.

Yeah, it was not smart thinking by Inzy and folks. They should know that umpires have the power to call the match when the opposition does not take field. They still have a good chance of winning the game if play resumes tomorrow. If it does not, they pretty much shot themselves by making this statement.

They could have protested against the decision in so many better ways. The statement they made by delaying proceedings by 5-10 minutes only to come back out was weak. They look like idiots now.

I disagree. They don't look like idiots. Who cares if they win or lose, it's the statement that's important at this point. Hair must go.

Bald is in ? ;D
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pieterSAN

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.

Yeah, it was not smart thinking by Inzy and folks. They should know that umpires have the power to call the match when the opposition does not take field. They still have a good chance of winning the game if play resumes tomorrow. If it does not, they pretty much shot themselves by making this statement.

They could have protested against the decision in so many better ways. The statement they made by delaying proceedings by 5-10 minutes only to come back out was weak. They look like idiots now.

I disagree. They don't look like idiots. Who cares if they win or lose, it's the statement that's important at this point. Hair must go.

I don't think you understand. If they planned not take field they should have known that they run the risk of the umpires calling the game. And if that is the stand they wanted to take, great - but stick with it. Instead they delayed the game and then came out later assuming that all will be hunky dory. They should have know that Hair was never going to make it easy for them - that's why it was stupid.

And yes,  we do need to get some Nair, since that Pri*k Hair has to go.

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.

Yeah, it was not smart thinking by Inzy and folks. They should know that umpires have the power to call the match when the opposition does not take field. They still have a good chance of winning the game if play resumes tomorrow. If it does not, they pretty much shot themselves by making this statement.

They could have protested against the decision in so many better ways. The statement they made by delaying proceedings by 5-10 minutes only to come back out was weak. They look like idiots now.

I disagree. They don't look like idiots. Who cares if they win or lose, it's the statement that's important at this point. Hair must go.

I don't think you understand. If they planned not take field they should have known that they run the risk of the umpires calling the game. And if that is the stand they wanted to take, great - but stick with it. Instead they delayed the game and then came out later assuming that all will be hunky dory. They should have know that Hair was never going to make it easy for them - that's why it was stupid.

And yes,  we do need to get some Nair, since that Pri*k Hair has to go.


Only problem? Well, the umpires never called the game in England's favor before Pakistan came out. So they are very much obligated to go out in the middle and do their job. The match referee can slap a fine if he likes, but the game wasn't called.
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pieterSAN

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.

Yeah, it was not smart thinking by Inzy and folks. They should know that umpires have the power to call the match when the opposition does not take field. They still have a good chance of winning the game if play resumes tomorrow. If it does not, they pretty much shot themselves by making this statement.

They could have protested against the decision in so many better ways. The statement they made by delaying proceedings by 5-10 minutes only to come back out was weak. They look like idiots now.

I disagree. They don't look like idiots. Who cares if they win or lose, it's the statement that's important at this point. Hair must go.

I don't think you understand. If they planned not take field they should have known that they run the risk of the umpires calling the game. And if that is the stand they wanted to take, great - but stick with it. Instead they delayed the game and then came out later assuming that all will be hunky dory. They should have know that Hair was never going to make it easy for them - that's why it was stupid.

And yes,  we do need to get some Nair, since that Pri*k Hair has to go.


Only problem? Well, the umpires never called the game in England's favor before Pakistan came out. So they are very much obligated to go out in the middle and do their job. The match referee can slap a fine if he likes, but the game wasn't called.

I see...so you think they could not have made the decision when they were inside? Are you positive that they did not make such a decision. It is very likely that this is the line of argument that Hair will make. And the Great ICC will back him
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dextrous

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Just wondering if the recent incidents in London accusing Pakistani Britans of conspiring to kill British citizens have anything to do with this.  I mean the prejudices that can wiegh on a person's mind and look down upon others that belong to the same etnicity.  How sad if that is the case. 

I would think this has more to Darrell Hair being a pri*k more than anything else.
Jiet:
Hair is a jerk..given his past pattern of behavior. It is sad that ICC has not addressed this issue - head on. An on-field umpire is the most critical role in any match. One should pick such people with utmost care and include not only their decision-making skills into account..they have to look at the person's temparament, negotiation skills and general pattern (and perception) of fairness too. They clearly have ignored some of these "soft" skills when picking Hair...and are therefore, stuck with an unnecessary issue that could have been amicably resolved on the field.

.. but Inzy and the teams' reaction and behavior "because they felt insulted" does not make sense. One cannot get carried away with emotional knee-jerk reactions. I am really disappointed in Woolmer, Zaheer and Shahrayar.. they should have asked the team to take the field. The issue of "fixing the Hair" problem has to be solved off-the-field.

Yeah, it was not smart thinking by Inzy and folks. They should know that umpires have the power to call the match when the opposition does not take field. They still have a good chance of winning the game if play resumes tomorrow. If it does not, they pretty much shot themselves by making this statement.

They could have protested against the decision in so many better ways. The statement they made by delaying proceedings by 5-10 minutes only to come back out was weak. They look like idiots now.

I disagree. They don't look like idiots. Who cares if they win or lose, it's the statement that's important at this point. Hair must go.

I don't think you understand. If they planned not take field they should have known that they run the risk of the umpires calling the game. And if that is the stand they wanted to take, great - but stick with it. Instead they delayed the game and then came out later assuming that all will be hunky dory. They should have know that Hair was never going to make it easy for them - that's why it was stupid.

And yes,  we do need to get some Nair, since that Pri*k Hair has to go.


Only problem? Well, the umpires never called the game in England's favor before Pakistan came out. So they are very much obligated to go out in the middle and do their job. The match referee can slap a fine if he likes, but the game wasn't called.

I see...so you think they could not have made the decision when they were inside? Are you positive that they did not make such a decision. It is very likely that this is the line of argument that Hair will make. And the Great ICC will back him

Well, if they did, they have to share it with everyone...
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pieterSAN

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Cricinfo says that England has won the Fourth Test.
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ramshorns

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Cricinfo says that England has won the Fourth Test.
If that is the way the laws of the game are so be it.  But that not mean I agree with it.  I don't like it one bit.  This story is not going away anywhere anytime soon.
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Cricinfo says that England has won the Fourth Test.
oh ok, well that clears it up then. the aussie prevailed
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As the events unfolded

4.35pm The covers are coming off, and it's looking bright enough for a resumption. And here come the umpires

4.40pm Now then, this is interesting. The umpires are out there, but the Pakistanis are not coming out of the dressing-room. We could have a bit of an incident here.

The slow-hand claps start to ring out ... but there is nothing doing from the Pakistanis. The England batsmen are ready, and now the umpires are having to troop back indoors.

Inzy was threatening to come out, it would seem, but now they are going deeper back into the bowels of the pavilion. I sense a major incident is about to kick off here.

4.45pm Zaheer Abbas, Pakistan's manager, is talking on his mobile phone on the balcony, but no sign of Inzamam or Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, who was seen before tea striding towards the match referee's office with the rule book in hand.

No doubt about it, we've got a protest in progress here.

4.55pm The batsmen are coming out now, to great cheers, but there's no sign of the Pakistan team. Oh, there goes Kamran Akmal, on the balcony, but he just sits down and takes his gloves off. He's making a statement of intent here, picking up his paper and just reading it. Pakistan are clearly not going to take the field now. The only people out on the field are the two batsmen and two umpires.

5.00pm The bails are coming off now - suggesting the game is over - and the umpires are roundly booed by the crowd. The umpires are walking off as are the batsmen. Have Pakistan forfeited the game? This is a hugely serious situation - and the crowds have no idea what's going on.

5.10pm Kamran Akmal has been called back into the dressing room, presumably for a team meeting, whereas Shoaib Akhtar has left. David Morgan, the ECB chairman, has just shaken hands with Zaheer Abbas on the balcony. Now Morgan and Sharayar Khan, the chairman of the PCB, are sitting around to have crisis talks.

5.15pm The Pakistan officials and Morgan are now going into the Pakistan dressing room for talks.

5.20pm Here's what Andrew Miller has for us. "The issue would seem to boil down to evidence. Has Darrell Hair got any proof that the Pakistanis were tampering with the ball? Did he see a specific player scratch at the seam, or did he take a look at a ball that is 55 overs old and draw his own conclusions? As Ian Botham has just said on Sky Sports, it's a matter of honour to the Pakistanis. If Hair has no proof, then they are well within their rights to take this stance."

5.25pm In a further surprising twist, the covers are now coming off and that's greeted by a huge cheer. But the stumps have still not been replaced. Whatever it is, it's a mess.

5.27pm A ha, the Pakistan team have spoken with Mike Procter, the match referee, and have apparently confirmed that they will take the field. But, oh dear, the light has deteriorated so the England batsmen could take the light if they go back on the field. This is a complete farce of Carry On proportions, but without the humour.

5.30pm Boos from the crowd as Pakistan take to the field. The crowd haven't been kept informed of what's been happening, but it's good that Pakistan are on. Darrell Hair is now saying that if Pakistan take the field, he won't. It's all very sad, and very messy.

5.32pm It gets more bizarre. Pakistan are now walking off as the umpires aren't coming out.

"It sums up the ICC for me," says Nasser Hussain on Sky. "They talk about irrelevant things. You've got a major sporting issue here at The Oval, surely Mike Procter sits down with the main people and says, "Right what's going on?" Do it behind the scenes and get a decision made and this would stop all these ridiculous scenes of players going up and down stairs."

There are press cameraman loitering at the bottom of the steps capturing these extraordinary scenes, and who can blame them. These photos will be making the backpages tomorrow for sure.

Some people aren't hanging around - fed up with the nonsense, spectators are starting to leave.

5.40pm At last there's an announcement over the tannoy for the crowds.

Meanwhile, Mike Atherton's opinions on Sky are scathing of Darrell Hair, saying his decision lacks any historical context and that they lacked common sense. "It's bound to inflame things. It would have been best to leave it to the end of the day. He's not a man to back down. He's a stubborn character, a strong character.. so even though Pakistan said they were willing to come back out [after the bails removal/apparent forfeiture] you could imagine him sitting in the dressing room refusing to come out."

5.45pm No individual has been accused, by the way; Cricinfo have been told by sources inside the Pakistan camp.

5.50pm "We are hurt and we are disappointed," says Shahrayar Khan, "and we are registering our complaints through the relevant channels."

He also added this, on Sky: "We have indicated very clearly that we can go out and play, in fact the boys came out and that we want the Test match to continue. We want this issue to be finished and resolved. We want the umpires to come out. We have indicated we are ready to come on to the field and play."

About the incident earlier he had this to say: "Nobody was consulted and nobody was told that something was wrong with the ball and they felt deeply aggrieved for the country and for the fans. They said that we want to register a protest and they felt that they could do it by just waiting a few minutes. And then we were ready to come out and we felt it was extraordinary that we were ready to come out and the umpires say they are not. It's very sad that this has come to pass."

He added further: "I hope the match can continue. It's bad light but even if we can continue for half an hour, that would be good."

Looking ahead, whether this would affect the one-dayers, Khan didn't say. "I don't know what's going to happen in the future. We have absolutely no complaint with the English board. We have very good relations and atmosphere, the spirit of this series has been excellent. If this match is abandoned it won't be because of the English board or the team it will be because of an incident that has been brought to the fore by the umpires."

Nasser Hussain added this: "The problem is the conflict with the boards and the ICC. This is an ICC matter. The ICC and the umpires are the ones that are supposed to be running this game of cricket. Who is in charge of this game?"

6.00pm An ECB spokesperson has just said: "It's entirely a matter for the ICC and the PCB. England's batsmen were out there and all ready to resume playing." They are going to sit tight and wait for someone to make a decision. For obvious reasons, ie it's not really anything to do with them, the England camp won't be making any further statements on this situation at the moment.

6.05pm The fourth umpire has just informed the teams that there will be no more play today.

Just a little extra from the bemused ECB spokesperson. "It's certainly nothing to do with the spirit between the teams. That much I can tell you. Just like the rest of us, they are sat there in astonishment waiting for someone to tell us what's happening."

6.15pm Play has been officially called off for the day: that leaves open the possibility that there will be cricket tomorrow.

6.30pm The ECB have just announced that the ICC have told them that meetings will be held immediately after play to determine whether the match will go ahead tomorrow.

6.32pm Bob Woolmer has just announced: "The team is upset by the inference they have been accused of tampering with the ball and therefore cheating. It is a no-win situation as the umpires refuse to come out."
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LosingNow

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Hair/Doctrove followed the letter of the law.. see red sections.

Whatever Pak's grief and no matter how big a jerk Hair is.. Pak should have come to the field. Againg, this is really bad decision making by Inzy, Zaheer, Sharayar, Woolmer.

A dark day in the history of cricket!

--
From CI article..

Pakistan forfeit Test amid farcical scenes
Andrew Miller and Osman Samiuddin

August 20, 2006

The fourth Test between England and Pakistan has been forfeited in favour of England, after an extraordinary day of rumour, speculation, and high farce that brought the game to the brink of arguably its biggest crisis since Bodyline. The decision was finally made at 10pm London time, in a makeshift press conference hall in the bowels of the Oval pavilion. It was the first such forfeiture in 129 years of Test cricket.

Four long hours after play was called off for the day, and after protracted negotiations between the ICC, the ECB and the PCB, it was left to David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, to read out a statement that will doubtless raise more questions than answers. Though both teams and their boards were keen for the match to continue, it was the umpires, Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove, who were not willing to budge from their original decision.

"It was concluded with regret that there will be no play on the fifth day," read the statement. "The fourth npower Test match between England and Pakistan has therefore been forfeited with the match being awarded to England. In accordance with the laws of cricket it was noted that the umpires had correctly deemed that Pakistan had forfeited the match and awarded the Test to England."

It may have been the correct application of the letter of the law, but the decision made a mockery of a match in which Pakistan had made all the running from the very first morning, and had been bubbling towards a thrilling conclusion on the final morning, as England looked set to put at least a token target on the board.

According to Surrey officials, 12,000 tickets had been sold in advance - all of which will now have to be refunded, along with 40% of today's takings - a combined loss of about £400,000. And Pakistan will certainly not be content to return home with a 3-0 defeat to their name, not to mention the further implications of the forfeiture. As Bob Woolmer announced at the close of play: "The team is upset by the inference they have been accused of tampering with the ball and therefore cheating." The ICC, in a separate statement, confirmed that Pakistan has been charged under Level two of the Code of Conduct, 2.10, which relates to changing the condition of the match ball.

The initial incident took place in the 56th over, when umpires Hair and Doctrove deemed that the quarter seam on the ball had been raised and would therefore have to be changed. But the situation only really kicked off after tea, as the Pakistanis remained in their dressing-room in protest at the decision.

After waiting in the middle of the pitch for twenty minutes, he umpires went to the Pakistan dressing-room to ask whether or not Inzamam-ul-Haq would lead out his team or not before they went out, took the bails off and left, thus awarding the Test to England.   


Bob Woolmer told Cricinfo that after Pakistan refused to come out after the tea break, both umpires, after waiting on the field, went to the Pakistan dressing room to ask whether or not they would continue to play. Inzamam countered by asking the umpires why they had changed the ball, which led to the Pakistan team protesting.   

"We are not here to answer that question," Hair was reported to have said, and when Inzamam didn't provide any reply to their initial query, they walked back out again. By the time Pakistan were eventually led out onto the field by Inzamam, the umpires had already walked on, knocked the bails off and gone back inside, refusing to come out again.   

The decision was made according to Law 21, regarding the result of a match, which states, "A match shall be lost by a side which in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play." A further subsection adds, "If an umpire considers that an action by any player or players might constitute a refusal by either side to play then the umpires together shall ascertain the cause of the action. If they then decide together that this action does constitute a refusal to play by one side, they shall so inform the captain of that side. If the captain persists in the action the umpires shall award the match in accordance with above."



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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
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LosingNow

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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!
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dhruvdeepak

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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!

imran khan is going to all but ask for inzi's head on a platter  ;D
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toney

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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!
My first thought was to agree with you guys. But honestly, if Pak protested after the game, would it have had any effect? take into account their recent encounters with Hair and their request for removing him from the India series. I think Pak made sure Hair wont officiate in any of their future series. What is the big deal if they have to pay a fine or Inzy is suspended for a couple of tests? I am not saying that the decision was right or in the spirit of the game (whatever that means). All I am saying is Inzy and party played their cards just right and the attention is on Hair and the ICC. Nasser Hussain and Atherton pointed this out.
Also, something that cannot be brushed off as trivial: While the umpires are well within their right to claim that the ball was tampered with, there was no video footage of any player caught in the act (with 26 cameras available). There was no evidence of scratching on the 55 over old ball. So, if the seam was raised, IMHO, that is not reason enough to conclude that Pak tampered with the ball. So, they can be excused for thinking that Hair had ulterior motives in this decision.
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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!
My first thought was to agree with you guys. But honestly, if Pak protested after the game, would it have had any effect? take into account their recent encounters with Hair and their request for removing him from the India series. I think Pak made sure Hair wont officiate in any of their future series. What is the big deal if they have to pay a fine or Inzy is suspended for a couple of tests? I am not saying that the decision was right or in the spirit of the game (whatever that means). All I am saying is Inzy and party played their cards just right and the attention is on Hair and the ICC. Nasser Hussain and Atherton pointed this out.
Also, something that cannot be brushed off as trivial: While the umpires are well within their right to claim that the ball was tampered with, there was no video footage of any player caught in the act (with 26 cameras available). There was no evidence of scratching on the 55 over old ball. So, if the seam was raised, IMHO, that is not reason enough to conclude that Pak tampered with the ball. So, they can be excused for thinking that Hair had ulterior motives in this decision.

Guys,

For me the issue is not what was the politically correct thing to do or stay within spirit of the game neccesarily; it is also about showing outrage at an accusation of this magnitude if Pak really know and believe that they did nothing wrong.

Walking out in protest over an umpire's wrong LBW decision is very different from this kind of accusation. In some scenarios, winning or losing- picking the smartest decision does not matter anymore. To me it was more important to display "we are not guilty and if our actions lead to something that has happened in the last 129 years, so be it". The after effects might go in Pak's or Hair's favor but conveying this emotion ws very important IMO.
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Sydney Morning Herald .. coming down hard on Hair!
--
Bad tamper: cricket's day of disgrace

 Pakistan's petulance and Darrell Hair's stubborness have led cricket down a dark, treacherous path. In refusing to take the field after tea on the fourth day, in protest at Hair's decision to penalise them five runs for ball tampering, Pakistan displayed a dangerous disregard for authority. But Hair's subsequent "crime" was potentially more damaging to the game - refusing to allow play to recommence after Pakistan declared their intention to take the field. The first forfeiture in Test cricket's 129-year history looks bad enough. But the knock-on effects could be far worse for the game.

Whether or not the Pakistanis were guilty of ball tampering, their decison not to take the field for the final session of the fourth day lacked class. Surely, by playing on and lodging a formal protest with the ICC match referee, Mike Procter, after stumps, Inzamam ul-Haq's squad would have retained the ability to vent their displeasure without robbing spectators and television viewers. Sure, ball tampering is a serious charge. It's cheating, plain and simple. But other teams have protested similar charges without taking Pakistan's extreme measure. As with the match, Pakistan have forfeited the moral ascendancy in this saga.

The same, of course, can be said of Hair. Though Pakistan were wrong to challenge his authority in the manner they did, Hair's pride, stubborness and, if his critics are right, discriminatroy behaviour have wounded the game even more deeply. Previously accused of bias by the Sri Lankans, Hair is viewed by many on the subcontient as an umpire with a grudge against Asian teams, possibly stemming back to the death threats he received after calling Muttiah Muralitharan for chucking. A biased umpire? That's a bad look for the ICC, whether they choose to stand him down or not.

Hair was well within his rights to call Muralitharan and to penalise Pakistan. But whereas many considered him brave for standing his ground on the former issue, it's doubtful that those same people will hold that view on the latter. To cancel the entire fifth day's play, even after Pakistan agreed to take the field, smacked of stubborness and lacked commonsense. Hair could have left the matter for the ICC to decide after the match, but instead opted to dig in his heels and, in so doing, turned the fourth Test into a farce. The ECB, alone, stands to lose $1 million in gate takings, while the losses to television broadcasters around the world will be far greater. And then there are losses that can't be measured in dollars - the damage done to game's reputation, the anger of fans around the world, who were denied an entire day of Test cricket on account of one man's decision, and so forth.

There are no winners in this controversy. Only losers. Pakistan and Hair have much to answer for.

- Alex Brown


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LosingNow

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Geoffrey Boycott...
--
Hair cuts an over-officious figure in the game
By Geoffrey Boycott


(Filed: 21/08/2006)


The events at the Oval yesterday were farcical and reflected little credit on the England and Wales Cricket Board or the International Cricket Council.

The biggest farce of all was that no one thought to keep the 23,000 spectators, who had paid a lot of money to watch the game, informed.

The ECB employ a lot of people in their public relations department but the only information spectators were given as they left the ground was to check with the national media as to what was happening.

The ICC don't come out of it very well, either. Mike Procter, the ICC's match referee, did not issue a statement until 6.45 pm.

The ICC must be blind or stupid not to have realised that there is history between Darrell Hair, the umpire who accused them of changing the nature of the ball, and Pakistan. There were mutterings after the Headingley Test that Pakistan didn't like Hair's attitude.

There were also incidents in the Test series against England in Pakistan before Christmas when Hair warned Danish Kaneria for running on the pitch when he was bowling and Salman Butt for a similar offence while batting.

Inzamam-ul-Haq was given run out when he tried to get out of the way of a shy at the stumps by Steve Harmison. Pakistan thought Inzamam was taking evasive action and that Hair should not have referred it to the third umpire.

Pakistan regard Hair as an officious umpire and they don't like his style of man-management. It should have been obvious to the ICC that appointing him to this series created a situation like a volcano waiting to erupt.

That happened yesterday. Without seeing the match ball, it is difficult to make a judgment about whether anyone had made an attempt to change its condition.

However, it is quite obvious that Pakistan were deeply hurt and upset by the allegation made by Hair. You could be polite and say that attempting to alter the ball's condition is an offence against the spirit of cricket. In simple terms, it's an accusation of cheating and that's what hurt the Pakistanis.

It is not the first time that such allegations have been made against Pakistan. There were similar claims after a one-day international at Lord's in 1992 and Imran Khan, the great figure of Pakistan cricket, admitted in his autobiography that he had used a bottle top to tamper with the ball.

Ball-tampering is a sensitive issue for the Pakistanis and that is why they staged their protest yesterday. They wanted to make a statement because the reputation of the team and the integrity of Pakistan cricket had been called into question. You have to remember that the Pakistan players are deeply religious and pray five times a day, so an allegation of cheating hurts them.(LN:LOL)

These days umpires are empowered to inspect the ball at irregular but frequent intervals to ensure no one is altering its condition. Anyone who attempts to tamper with a ball has to be stupid because they are bound to be found out.

Hair might be correct in the strict letter of the law but this is not the same as giving someone out lbw or stumped. This is a matter that needed to be dealt with sensitively and Hair came across as being too officious.

As to what happens now, I don't know. Pakistan may have forfeited the game when they refused to come out after tea, but they will hope that their protest - because that's what it was - will make people realise they feel that Hair is biased against them.

 
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pieterSAN

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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!
My first thought was to agree with you guys. But honestly, if Pak protested after the game, would it have had any effect? take into account their recent encounters with Hair and their request for removing him from the India series. I think Pak made sure Hair wont officiate in any of their future series. What is the big deal if they have to pay a fine or Inzy is suspended for a couple of tests? I am not saying that the decision was right or in the spirit of the game (whatever that means). All I am saying is Inzy and party played their cards just right and the attention is on Hair and the ICC. Nasser Hussain and Atherton pointed this out.
Also, something that cannot be brushed off as trivial: While the umpires are well within their right to claim that the ball was tampered with, there was no video footage of any player caught in the act (with 26 cameras available). There was no evidence of scratching on the 55 over old ball. So, if the seam was raised, IMHO, that is not reason enough to conclude that Pak tampered with the ball. So, they can be excused for thinking that Hair had ulterior motives in this decision.

Guys,

For me the issue is not what was the politically correct thing to do or stay within spirit of the game neccesarily; it is also about showing outrage at an accusation of this magnitude if Pak really know and believe that they did nothing wrong.

Walking out in protest over an umpire's wrong LBW decision is very different from this kind of accusation. In some scenarios, winning or losing- picking the smartest decision does not matter anymore. To me it was more important to display "we are not guilty and if our actions lead to something that has happened in the last 129 years, so be it". The after effects might go in Pak's or Hair's favor but conveying this emotion ws very important IMO.

Toney and Suraj,

I just don't think they KNEW what they were doing. They delayed the game and thought they could go back out. They should have known that that would not work.

I am all for making a statement, which would have been more effective in my opinion if they had simply stayed in the dressing room and not come out. Just concede the game. If that was unacceptable to them (clearly they wanted to get on with it later), then make some sort of statement at the end of the match. Their actions were clearly not well thought out, and as LN said, they had the entire tea interval to think about it.
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suraj

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Sydney Morning Herald .. coming down hard on Hair!
--
Bad tamper: cricket's day of disgrace

 Pakistan's petulance and Darrell Hair's stubborness have led cricket down a dark, treacherous path. In refusing to take the field after tea on the fourth day, in protest at Hair's decision to penalise them five runs for ball tampering, Pakistan displayed a dangerous disregard for authority. But Hair's subsequent "crime" was potentially more damaging to the game - refusing to allow play to recommence after Pakistan declared their intention to take the field. The first forfeiture in Test cricket's 129-year history looks bad enough. But the knock-on effects could be far worse for the game.

Whether or not the Pakistanis were guilty of ball tampering, their decison not to take the field for the final session of the fourth day lacked class. Surely, by playing on and lodging a formal protest with the ICC match referee, Mike Procter, after stumps, Inzamam ul-Haq's squad would have retained the ability to vent their displeasure without robbing spectators and television viewers. Sure, ball tampering is a serious charge. It's cheating, plain and simple. But other teams have protested similar charges without taking Pakistan's extreme measure. As with the match, Pakistan have forfeited the moral ascendancy in this saga.

The same, of course, can be said of Hair. Though Pakistan were wrong to challenge his authority in the manner they did, Hair's pride, stubborness and, if his critics are right, discriminatroy behaviour have wounded the game even more deeply. Previously accused of bias by the Sri Lankans, Hair is viewed by many on the subcontient as an umpire with a grudge against Asian teams, possibly stemming back to the death threats he received after calling Muttiah Muralitharan for chucking. A biased umpire? That's a bad look for the ICC, whether they choose to stand him down or not.

Hair was well within his rights to call Muralitharan and to penalise Pakistan. But whereas many considered him brave for standing his ground on the former issue, it's doubtful that those same people will hold that view on the latter. To cancel the entire fifth day's play, even after Pakistan agreed to take the field, smacked of stubborness and lacked commonsense. Hair could have left the matter for the ICC to decide after the match, but instead opted to dig in his heels and, in so doing, turned the fourth Test into a farce. The ECB, alone, stands to lose $1 million in gate takings, while the losses to television broadcasters around the world will be far greater. And then there are losses that can't be measured in dollars - the damage done to game's reputation, the anger of fans around the world, who were denied an entire day of Test cricket on account of one man's decision, and so forth.

There are no winners in this controversy. Only losers. Pakistan and Hair have much to answer for.

- Alex Brown




I am on Pak's side in this issue; some things are bigger than win/ loss. The disgrace lies with Hair and ICC
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suraj

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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!
My first thought was to agree with you guys. But honestly, if Pak protested after the game, would it have had any effect? take into account their recent encounters with Hair and their request for removing him from the India series. I think Pak made sure Hair wont officiate in any of their future series. What is the big deal if they have to pay a fine or Inzy is suspended for a couple of tests? I am not saying that the decision was right or in the spirit of the game (whatever that means). All I am saying is Inzy and party played their cards just right and the attention is on Hair and the ICC. Nasser Hussain and Atherton pointed this out.
Also, something that cannot be brushed off as trivial: While the umpires are well within their right to claim that the ball was tampered with, there was no video footage of any player caught in the act (with 26 cameras available). There was no evidence of scratching on the 55 over old ball. So, if the seam was raised, IMHO, that is not reason enough to conclude that Pak tampered with the ball. So, they can be excused for thinking that Hair had ulterior motives in this decision.

Guys,

For me the issue is not what was the politically correct thing to do or stay within spirit of the game neccesarily; it is also about showing outrage at an accusation of this magnitude if Pak really know and believe that they did nothing wrong.

Walking out in protest over an umpire's wrong LBW decision is very different from this kind of accusation. In some scenarios, winning or losing- picking the smartest decision does not matter anymore. To me it was more important to display "we are not guilty and if our actions lead to something that has happened in the last 129 years, so be it". The after effects might go in Pak's or Hair's favor but conveying this emotion ws very important IMO.

Toney and Suraj,

I just don't think they KNEW what they were doing. They delayed the game and thought they could go back out. They should have known that that would not work.

I am all for making a statement, which would have been more effective in my opinion if they had simply stayed in the dressing room and not come out. Just concede the game. If that was unacceptable to them (clearly they wanted to get on with it later), then make some sort of statement at the end of the match. Their actions were clearly not well thought out, and as LN said, they had the entire tea interval to think about it.

I agree jiet. In this sense Pakis are the comedians of cricket who often provide us entertainment with their "I didn't know" stance (DUH!!!!)

IZZZ boyz not learn rulezzz, then forefiet!!
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pieterSAN

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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!
My first thought was to agree with you guys. But honestly, if Pak protested after the game, would it have had any effect? take into account their recent encounters with Hair and their request for removing him from the India series. I think Pak made sure Hair wont officiate in any of their future series. What is the big deal if they have to pay a fine or Inzy is suspended for a couple of tests? I am not saying that the decision was right or in the spirit of the game (whatever that means). All I am saying is Inzy and party played their cards just right and the attention is on Hair and the ICC. Nasser Hussain and Atherton pointed this out.
Also, something that cannot be brushed off as trivial: While the umpires are well within their right to claim that the ball was tampered with, there was no video footage of any player caught in the act (with 26 cameras available). There was no evidence of scratching on the 55 over old ball. So, if the seam was raised, IMHO, that is not reason enough to conclude that Pak tampered with the ball. So, they can be excused for thinking that Hair had ulterior motives in this decision.

Guys,

For me the issue is not what was the politically correct thing to do or stay within spirit of the game neccesarily; it is also about showing outrage at an accusation of this magnitude if Pak really know and believe that they did nothing wrong.

Walking out in protest over an umpire's wrong LBW decision is very different from this kind of accusation. In some scenarios, winning or losing- picking the smartest decision does not matter anymore. To me it was more important to display "we are not guilty and if our actions lead to something that has happened in the last 129 years, so be it". The after effects might go in Pak's or Hair's favor but conveying this emotion ws very important IMO.

Toney and Suraj,

I just don't think they KNEW what they were doing. They delayed the game and thought they could go back out. They should have known that that would not work.

I am all for making a statement, which would have been more effective in my opinion if they had simply stayed in the dressing room and not come out. Just concede the game. If that was unacceptable to them (clearly they wanted to get on with it later), then make some sort of statement at the end of the match. Their actions were clearly not well thought out, and as LN said, they had the entire tea interval to think about it.

I agree jiet. In this sense Pakis are the comedians of cricket who often provide us entertainment with their "I didn't know" stance (DUH!!!!)

IZZZ boyz not learn rulezzz, then forefiet!!
:D :D
The inzi interview with Ramiz after he got out obstructing the field was awesome. "not hitting the ball is out and now hitting the ball is out ...I can't understand this rule".  ROFLMAO
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LosingNow

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Interesting alternatives from CMJ and Pringle...

ICC should have overruled the umpires, appointed different umpires and played the game while they investigated the matter further..
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ICC largely to blame as game is ultimate loser
By Christopher Martin-Jenkins
BRIT OVAL (fourth day of five): England beat Pakistan when the umpires ruled that Pakistan had forfeited the match

NEITHER the professional pride of the umpires nor the righteous indignation of the Pakistan captain and his team were worth the consequences of yesterday’s abandonment of what had become an intriguing final Test match. It was held up initially by bad weather, but sabotaged later by bad blood. The ICC’s decision can lead only to prolonged recriminations at a time when cricket should be helping sensitive international relations, not adding to their intensity.

It is hard to exaggerate the cricketing significance of yesterday’s events, not finally concluded until the ICC ruled that England had won the game by default at 10.15pm. No Test had previously been lost because a side refused to play since international cricket made its official start in 1877. Both the five-run penalty for interference with the ball applied by Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove, and the initial refusal of Pakistan to resume playing, are unprecedented, too.

Delays caused by intransigent umpires, notably when West Indies came close to a strike in New Zealand in 1979 in protest at the home umpire, Fred Goodall, and again when Shakoor Rana refused to stand until Mike Gatting apologised in Faisalabad in 1986, are not so rare. They blighted the game at the time and have never been forgotten. The same will inevitably be true of this game.

If the decision had been left to the two cricket boards, the umpires, rightly or wrongly, would have been overruled. Their verdict was that Pakistan should lose the match, despite their eventual willingness to continue after making what the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Shahriyar Khan, described as a protest at a “grave accusation”. It had to be an ICC decision because, since the early 1990s, the game’ s governing body has appointed the referees and umpires. Mike Procter, as referee at the Brit Oval, and Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive in Dubai, had a devilishly difficult decision to make between supporting the umpires — and, through them, the laws of the game — and considering the wider good of the game.

Even that was not simple because by overruling umpires who believed that they were acting in good faith, it would have been setting a precedent that their decisions are not as final as they are supposed to be. The alternative was to create ill will on all sides, not least from the 24,000 who were at the Oval yesterday and the 12,000 who had booked in advance for the fifth and last day’s play today.

Recent relations between the England and Pakistan boards have been excellent, and between the two teams as good as they have ever been, despite two very competitive series in the past nine months. The one-day series starting at the end of August will give the opportunity for immediate repairs to yesterday’s wounds, but the repercussions will not end there.

The ICC arguably bears the prime responsibility for the chaos that ensued after the five-run penalty had been applied when England were 230 for three, not because the adjudication was right or wrong, but because of the umpire who took first responsibility for the decision. Hair has been a controversial figure for a long time in Asian cricket circles. It was insensitive and unwise to appoint him for the last two matches of this series, not least because he had twice incensed Pakistan during the Faisalabad Test in November.

Hair was only applying the law correctly as he saw it yesterday, however, when he and Doctrove agreed that there had been unfair damage to the condition of the ball, then when they ruled that Pakistan had forfeited the match by failing to return at the scheduled restarting of the game after an early tea.

Whatever might or might not have been the justice of the umpires’ decision to change the ball yesterday, Pakistan’s was a gross overreaction. There would have been great sympathy for them had they waited for the referee’s hearing that would certainly have taken place at the end of the day’s play in accordance with normal procedure. After all, the television cameras had spotted no illegal interference of any kind.

Shahriyar indicated that there were “strong grounds” for Pakistan’s objections to the umpires’ decision, partly because neither Inzamam nor the bowler, Umar Gul, had been given any indication that they had suspected any foul play. Gul had produced a fine but very late inswinging yorker to dismiss Alastair Cook.

Andrew Strauss had been more conventionally leg-before during a fine spell of leg-break bowling by Danish Kaneria in the morning. Kevin Pietersen’s subsequent 96 was wonderful entertainment and the game was nicely poised when the madness ensued. He and Cook had taken England to 183 for two at lunch, 148 behind and still in trouble. They would have been in a deeper mire had Cook been given out in the first over, caught off pad and glove at silly point off Kaneria for his overnight score of 33.

In a wholly fair game, Cook would have obeyed the old-fashioned convention of walking. A batsman who does not walk when he has touched the ball in the air to a fielder is as guilty of breaking the game’s spirit as a bowler who uses his fingernail to rough up a cricket ball. There remains no proof, of course, that the ball yesterday was damaged by anything other than normal cricket treatment. That was exactly what Pakistan indignantly claimed, through the far-reaching protest of their captain, was all that had happened. It would have been better had the ICC ordered the game to be continued today, if necessary with different umpires, before any further inquiry into the condition of the ball.

---
Spirit of sport defeated by pride and prejudice
By Derek Pringle


Pride, principle and prejudice replaced runs, wickets and catches as the final Test of the summer reached an extraordinary climax at the Oval.

With one official day to go, Pakistan, on top here since Thursday morning, traded their winning position in favour of making a protest after the match umpires had punished them for ball tampering in mid-afternoon. But it was not just about them and by the close there was the farcical situation of the umpires refusing to restart play despite Pakistan having been persuaded to soften their original stance.

The controversy spoilt the day for the 23,000 sell-out crowd, who should have been kept informed. Inevitably there were boos and some parts of the crowd threw their beer into the outfield when play was eventually called off at 6.25pm. With 12,000 tickets already sold for today, and with cricket's reputation at stake, the match needs to be resumed, weather but not light permitting, at 11am.

The nature of Pakistan's stand-off first became apparent when Inzamam-ul-Haq and his team failed to appear at 4.40pm, the official restart time after a period of bad light, and some 70 minutes after umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove penalised the visitors five runs and changed the ball.

It was that initial incident that proved the tipping point. England were 230 for three at the time and still 101 runs from making the visitors bat again, when the umpires saw fit to confiscate the original ball and replace it with another in the 56th over. Umar Gul had just bowled the previous over and his instant withdrawal from the attack pointed to his guilt as the culprit, though there was no immediate evidence to back this up.

Kevin Pietersen, at the crease at the time, was given the choice of choosing which ball Pakistan should continue with (a playing condition agreed by both sides), though there was some irony in that when he was dismissed with it 50 balls later for 96.

Pakistan have previous form when it comes to ball tampering, with Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis given short bans for doing it, but most teams are guilty. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to it means that the very public action of the umpires was tantamount to an accusation of cheating, a humiliation for Pakistan and their captain in front of such a large audience.

According to the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Shahryar Khan, the intention of his team was to delay coming on to the field by five minutes, so that the crowd knew there was a protest being lodged. But if that were true, why did Inzamam and his players fail to appear when the umpires, this time with England's not-out batsmen, Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell, tried to restart play for a second time 15 minutes later?

That second no-show led Hair and Doctrove to remove the bails. It was a move that many felt meant Pakistan had forfeited the match, though surely they would have removed the stumps as well if that were the case. Pakistan's protest, which had many sympathisers, looked resolute until some behind-the-scenes diplomacy saw them take the field on their own at 5.25pm, though by then the umpires - perhaps sensing a U-turn would compromise their own sense of pride - refused to join them.

The presumed ogre in all this is Hair, the big umpire with a correspondingly big ego. He is a fine umpire but has been involved in all manner of controversy over the years and is stubborn to the point of intransigence. Many sides feel he is prejudiced and it is no secret that Pakistan had complained to the International Cricket Council about him after the series against England last November, over what they see as bias against them.

Those concerns appear to have fallen on deaf ears at the ICC, for Hair has umpired two matches this series. More likely, though, is the ICC's pathological fear of setting a precedent - for once one country is able to influence which umpires can or cannot stand, the floodgates are open.

The umpires' refusal to stand is not without precedent and Arthur Fagg and Shakoor Rana are two other umpires who went on strike during Test matches. Rana's protest was over the infamous finger-jabbing incident with Mike Gatting in 1987, while Fagg's stance came after the West Indies had criticised him for giving Geoff Boycott not out during the Edgbaston Test of 1973.

Hair's feelings, and he will maintain he has played it by the book, should not really be part of the equation. ICC have five officials present at every Test and match referee Mike Procter should simply have replaced him and Doctrove, if he was in sympathy with his colleague, with the third and fourth umpires present and got on with the game.

Hair could and should have played it differently. Unless he saw a player deliberately altering the condition of the ball, it is difficult to claim tampering by condition alone. While there appeared to be scuffs and striations when television zoomed in on the ball, Pietersen and Alastair Cook could have caused those when hitting it into boundary boards and beyond.

There was also no context for Hair to suddenly stop play. There had not been any massive reverse-swing, though Cook will claim the yorker that upended him swung a touch. There should also have been more sensitivity and Hair could just as easily have dealt with his suspicions at the end of play.

The playing conditions allow for protest, provided it is not permanent, with the time off the field getting added on. It has happened in the past, with the West Indies refusing to take the field against New Zealand in the acrimonious 1979-80 series. The game got finished, but the bad blood between the sides persisted for another decade.

Ironically, given the history of conflict between the two sides, this is not a result of animosity between the sides. In fact, relations have been good, which is why the umpires, sole arbiters of what happens on the field, should be by-passed now, so that spirit can be upheld.
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justforkix

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Well, frankly I don't know why Inzi made a fuss 1 hr after the incident happened. IMO, he and Pak team should have walked out immediately after the incident happened when in effect Hair accused the Pakis of cheating. They should walked out, packed their bags and gone home. The fact that they only made a fuss 1 hr later makes me suspicious of the Pak players too on this ball tampering issue. Inzi jolly well knew at 2:30 PM that he and the Pak team are being accused of ball tampering. You don't upset and protest 1 hour after being accused of cheating !!!!!!!
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pieterSAN

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Well, frankly I don't know why Inzi made a fuss 1 hr after the incident happened. IMO, he and Pak team should have walked out immediately after the incident happened when in effect Hair accused the Pakis of cheating. They should walked out, packed their bags and gone home. The fact that they only made a fuss 1 hr later makes me suspicious of the Pak players too on this ball tampering issue. Inzi jolly well knew at 2:30 PM that he and the Pak team are being accused of ball tampering. You don't upset and protest 1 hour after being accused of cheating !!!!!!!

slow repsonse to stimuli....did he get any knocks on the head from Harmy?  :D
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justforkix

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Well, frankly I don't know why Inzi made a fuss 1 hr after the incident happened. IMO, he and Pak team should have walked out immediately after the incident happened when in effect Hair accused the Pakis of cheating. They should walked out, packed their bags and gone home. The fact that they only made a fuss 1 hr later makes me suspicious of the Pak players too on this ball tampering issue. Inzi jolly well knew at 2:30 PM that he and the Pak team are being accused of ball tampering. You don't upset and protest 1 hour after being accused of cheating !!!!!!!

slow repsonse to stimuli....did he get any knocks on the head from Harmy?  :D

Or another conspiracy theory is that a Pak player did tamper the ball. The PCB officials, Zaheer Abbas with the help of other techie assistants determined between 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM that the ball tampering was not caught on camera. If they did not protest and create a fuss, that effectively means accepting your guilt.

So, they decide, hey letz protest and make a fuss and divert the attention to Darell Hair because Hair cannot provide video evidence of ball tampering.....
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pieterSAN

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Well, frankly I don't know why Inzi made a fuss 1 hr after the incident happened. IMO, he and Pak team should have walked out immediately after the incident happened when in effect Hair accused the Pakis of cheating. They should walked out, packed their bags and gone home. The fact that they only made a fuss 1 hr later makes me suspicious of the Pak players too on this ball tampering issue. Inzi jolly well knew at 2:30 PM that he and the Pak team are being accused of ball tampering. You don't upset and protest 1 hour after being accused of cheating !!!!!!!

slow repsonse to stimuli....did he get any knocks on the head from Harmy?  :D

Or another conspiracy theory is that a Pak player did tamper the ball. The PCB officials, Zaheer Abbas with the help of other techie assistants determined between 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM that the ball tampering was not caught on camera. If they did not protest and create a fuss, that effectively means accepting your guilt.

So, they decide, hey letz protest and make a fuss and divert the attention to Darell Hair because Hair cannot provide video evidence of ball tampering.....

I would buy that.
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dextrous

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While i understand that Pak wanted to show their protest, this looks like another case of Inzi not really undersanding the rules of the game. He should have played and then filed a complaint.
Precisely.. and if he did not know the rules, what were  Zaheer Abbas, Woolmen and Shahrayar khan doing. They had the entire Tea interval to discuss and decide!!
My first thought was to agree with you guys. But honestly, if Pak protested after the game, would it have had any effect? take into account their recent encounters with Hair and their request for removing him from the India series. I think Pak made sure Hair wont officiate in any of their future series. What is the big deal if they have to pay a fine or Inzy is suspended for a couple of tests? I am not saying that the decision was right or in the spirit of the game (whatever that means). All I am saying is Inzy and party played their cards just right and the attention is on Hair and the ICC. Nasser Hussain and Atherton pointed this out.
Also, something that cannot be brushed off as trivial: While the umpires are well within their right to claim that the ball was tampered with, there was no video footage of any player caught in the act (with 26 cameras available). There was no evidence of scratching on the 55 over old ball. So, if the seam was raised, IMHO, that is not reason enough to conclude that Pak tampered with the ball. So, they can be excused for thinking that Hair had ulterior motives in this decision.

Well put. Very rarely am I on Pakistan's side!
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sudzz

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Ok first of all I dont know how many of you actually saw the game on TV, I incidentally reached home from work and switched on the precisely when hair was doing those claesthenics of signalling 5 runs.

They later showed the ball on TV and it had clear scratch marks on the side one could see something wrong had happened with the ball. Does not mean that the pakistanis did it, it could very well have occurred when the ball hit some abrasive part of the boundary area or whatever.

But all across from the cricket knowledgeable and elite alike, Hair seems to be the one man being villified for this. I strongly disagree,
1. If ICC start appointing umpires based on teams likes and dislikes then whole concept of neutral umpires goes up in smoke-India could very well argue that Bucknor should never stand in our matches etc

2. Hair was well within his rights and he had held the ball in his hands just 10 mins prior to incident so he would've known what went wrong

3. Hair is the only umpire with real guts in international cricket to call a chucker a chucker till he was mandated by the weak kneed ICC to stop doing so, Once again yesterday he had the guts to call it as he saw it.

4. The onus of proof lies with Pak's and not Hair-he spotted a scarred ball he called the team known for doing so (by their own ex-captains admission) so he had a preceedent there. If the Pak's were so convinced of their innocence then they should not have taken the field at all why the farce of the 15mins of waiting and then agreeing to play (was their pride so fragile that it could restored in 15 mins)

5. ICC should take the blame for this entirely because they should laid down the rules of  engagements in such instances

6. PCB and ECB should not create a smoke screen of good relationships to hide behind such ugly issues that keep cropping up with such alarming regularity.

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RicePlateReddy

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Wow, sudzz, kudos and applause for posting the other side of the story. As of now, I see one-sided damnation of Hair, so it is indeed good to have at least someone provide counterpoints.

What I still don't get and would like your opinion of is when both sides wanted to patch up (albeit delayed) why did the ICC rule for the umpires based on being very true to the exact word of the law? Perhaps you can argue that this decision was not Hair's and ends up making him look even more stubborn.

Also under-emphasized is the fact that Kevin Pietersen played cry-baby and complained that something was amiss with the ball. Ironically he was out with the replaced ball.
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MockTurtle

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Here's Selvey's take on it - the DESERTER!  ;D (or it must be some clever strategy)


http://sport.guardian.co.uk/columnists/story/0,,1854950,00.html

Umpires acting in such cavalier fashion brings shame on the game

"Everyone who follows the game, and has its interests at heart, needs a full explanation now, not least from the umpires and match referee"

Mike Selvey
Monday August 21, 2006
The Guardian


So the final Test, already in disarray yesterday, has been decided by the intransigence of the two umpires, Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove. Both teams were keen to see the game to its conclusion today, in front of at least 12,000 people who had bought tickets in advance and all those who now come along on spec. Instead they will have to stay at home and contemplate whether it is worth again bothering to attend a sport that is prepared to treat its audience in such cavalier fashion. The refund of 40% of the cost to those who turned up yesterday and a full refund for today's cancellation will do little to change that. Yesterday was a shameful one.

That an international match of such profile can be terminated simply because two officials have had their integrity questioned - for that is what we are talking about here - is a disgrace to the game. If Hair and Doctrove feel a slight, then that can be no more than that felt by the Pakistan team, who have spent years living down the accusations of ball-tampering that were thrown at them in the early part of the last decade and the match-fixing scandals that followed later. But the game is more important than the feelings of the officials.
A refusal to play by either team would have seen the end of things: by definition they are irreplaceable. But a brace of umpires can be substituted, surely, if both teams agree, top ones too if necessary rather than the third and fourth officials on duty throughout this game. Honour could have been satisfied. If ICC had a hand in persuading Hair and Doctrove not to continue - the same ICC which insists that for the good of the game its members continue to play in Zimbabwe - then as a body it is culpable of bringing into disrepute the very thing it believes it is trying to protect.

The reaching of such a sorry state of affairs is the fault neither of England nor Pakistan. The visitors had made known their displeasure at the awarding of five penalty runs to England and the changing of the match ball, with it implicit that there had been some treatment of it contrary to cricket's laws of fair play. That Pakistan should feel so aggrieved by this action that they staged a protest after the tea interval was understandable for it seemed that no explanation had been given and, although it is not a pre-requisite for action, no warning either. The drama acted out, in which the umpires took the field twice without the Pakistan team, on the second occasion with the two undefeated England batsmen fulfilling the technicalities that demanded their presence, was all carried out with an almost total disdain for the paying public who were kept in the dark for much of the afternoon.

It is at this point that the umpires, presumably having warned the Pakistan team of their intentions, informed the match referee Mike Procter of their decision to award the game to England as the visitors were unwilling to carry on. This however is contrary to the official statement that eventually emanated from the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, David Collier. He is adamant that both sides wished to carry on but that an agreement could not be reached with the umpires. A game that had been building to a fitting climax to the series has ended in farce because a brace of officials dug their heels in.

Pakistan have long since had an antipathy towards Hair, one of the most senior members of the ICC's elite panel of umpires, who they feel tends to be involved in too many controversial incidents for comfort when officiating in their games. With such a background it is easy to understand why they should feel aggrieved at the treatment handed out yesterday, which they will have viewed as an extension of that which has dogged them through the latter part of the series. They will query the circumstances of the ball change. Did the umpires spot a specific incident? Or was illegality surmised having observed something in the balls condition that might have been caused by other than natural means? And when first did they notice this? Just five overs before the ball was changed the England batsman Alastair Cook had been dismissed and, as they are required to do at frequent but irregular intervals, the ball would have been inspected then. Implicitly there was nothing untoward to warrant their attention at that stage.

Everyone who follows the game, and has its interests at heart, needs a full explanation now, not least from the umpires and match referee who cannot be allowed to hide behind ICC regulations. Pakistan will feel they have been made scapegoats far too often, that a dog has been given a bad name and cannot shake it off. The umpires will argue that they have acted with the utmost integrity, without prompting, on the evidence before them. Someone is being duplicitous and it would be good to know who.


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keep-it-cool

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4. The onus of proof lies with Pak's and not Hair-he spotted a scarred ball he called the team known for doing so (by their own ex-captains admission) so he had a preceedent there. If the Pak's were so convinced of their innocence then they should not have taken the field at all why the farce of the 15mins of waiting and then agreeing to play (was their pride so fragile that it could restored in 15 mins)

This, I do not agree with. Hair has no reason to look at precedents while deciding on an issue. While the team is Pakistan, individuals comprising the team change. If Hair saw that the ball had lost its shape or was scuffed up, he can change the ball - fair enough. I think the awarding of 5 penalty runs amounts to fixing the blame of someone - that cannot be done without evidence. The umpires have to make out a case on why they felt Pak tampered the ball. If they can, fair enough. If they cannot, the two gentlemen should not stand in any more tests.
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dextrous

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1. If ICC start appointing umpires based on teams likes and dislikes then whole concept of neutral umpires goes up in smoke-India could very well argue that Bucknor should never stand in our matches etc

2. Hair was well within his rights and he had held the ball in his hands just 10 mins prior to incident so he would've known what went wrong

3. Hair is the only umpire with real guts in international cricket to call a chucker a chucker till he was mandated by the weak kneed ICC to stop doing so, Once again yesterday he had the guts to call it as he saw it.

4. The onus of proof lies with Pak's and not Hair-he spotted a scarred ball he called the team known for doing so (by their own ex-captains admission) so he had a preceedent there. If the Pak's were so convinced of their innocence then they should not have taken the field at all why the farce of the 15mins of waiting and then agreeing to play (was their pride so fragile that it could restored in 15 mins)

5. ICC should take the blame for this entirely because they should laid down the rules of  engagements in such instances

6. PCB and ECB should not create a smoke screen of good relationships to hide behind such ugly issues that keep cropping up with such alarming regularity.


You're making Hair out to be some kind of a hero here. Cricket, like all other sports, is played for one reason alone -- the fans. Today, Hair deprived the fans of cricket when there were obviously other more amicable solutions present. When a team is docked 5 runs and labled cheaters, esp. given the sensitive history, without proof, then it does becomes a problem. I won't even go into the "guts" to call Murali a chucker. Opinions are like arses...the saying goes. But in any case, then the umpires only had the right to report, not the right to call a no-ball. Hair was doing what's called encounter main maar dalo. The onus of proof does not at all lie with Pakistan. Legally, Hair has to provide proof of a Pakistani player tampering the ball before he can accuse them of anything. Whatever ICC does or doesn't do, today play didn't resume, despite both the teams' willingness because of one man. Of course, he deserves blame. I suspect he enjoys this too. Gavaskar is still villified till this day when he led Chauhan off the field, and you think hair should walk out with no problem? Regardless of what happend, even if Pakistan was immature, the bottomline is that the game has to go on. If a player had caused a game to end like this, he would never be forgiven.
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justforkix

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4. The onus of proof lies with Pak's and not Hair-he spotted a scarred ball he called the team known for doing so (by their own ex-captains admission) so he had a preceedent there. If the Pak's were so convinced of their innocence then they should not have taken the field at all why the farce of the 15mins of waiting and then agreeing to play (was their pride so fragile that it could restored in 15 mins)

Extending your logic, if someone accuses you of murder, is the onus on you to prove that you are innocent  :D :D
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