Inzamam says protest defended Pakistan's pride
by AFP

Ground:Kennington Oval, Kennington
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Player:Inzamam-ul-Haq, DB Hair
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 21st August 2006


Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said Monday he kept his team off the field against England in the fourth Test to defend his country's pride after allegations of cheating.


Inzamam also told private GEO television that the International Cricket Council should not let Australian umpire Darrell Hair take charge of any more matches involving Pakistan.


"The pride of the nation has been hurt, we have been unfairly labelled as cheats," Inzamam told GEO, explaining for the first time why he led the dressing room protest on Sunday.


"It's not a question of myself and my team, it's a question of my country. So we decided to protest and no player was ready to play. They were distraught."


The 36-year-old master batsman added: "We think what we did was justified, we did it for the sake of country. Why is only one umpire finding fault with us?"


Pakistan stayed off the pitch after the tea interval to register their anger at being penalised five runs by Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove over allegations of ball-tampering.


The Pakistanis eventually came out but the umpires refused to let the match proceed. It was awarded to England.


Burly Inzamam, who has played 109 Tests scoring 8,266 runs since his debut at Edgbaston in 1992, said they had returned to the pitch at the request of the match referee and English cricket officials.


"We were consulting the match referee and he told me that for the sake of the game we should go to the ground and play. The ECB chief also came to me and said it is good for you go to field and play," Inzamam said.


"So the players and myself decided to do that for the sake of the game and the sake of good relations between Pakistan and England.


"When we went to the ground the umpires refused to come."


Inzamam also complained about previous decisions by Hair, saying that a number of rulings on the first day of the third Test at Headingley had changed the course of the game.


He also criticised Hair's performance at Faisalabad last November when he ruled that Inzamam had been run out by a throw from England bowler Stephen Harmison, even though the batsman appeared to be taking evasive action.


Hair further upset Pakistan in that match by sending Salman Butt back to the striker's end after ruling that he had not completed a run. Butt was out next ball.


"Why does everything happen against us from the end that Darrell Hair is umpiring?" Inzamam told GEO.


"We hope that this umpire is not standing in our next matches, it would be good to avoid any more controversy.


"We expect the ICC not to put him in other matches (involving Pakistan)."

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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