Umpire must prove ball tampering or lose job: Imran Khan
by AFP

Ground:Kennington Oval, Kennington
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 22nd August 2006


Umpire Darrell Hair "has to prove" that Pakistani players tampered with the ball in the chaos-hit fourth Test against England or risk losing his job, Pakistani cricket legend Imran Khan told the BBC on Monday.


Khan, who captained Pakistan to a World Cup final triumph over England in 1992, said there should be an independent investigation into whether ball tampering occurred or not, an allegation he described as "very serious".


"Darrell Hair has to prove that the ball was tampered with, and unless he proves that, I think his job should be on the line," he told the broadcaster.


Hair, who Khan earlier described as a "mini Hitler", penalised Pakistan five runs on the fourth day of the final Test at The Oval on Sunday over ball-tampering allegations.


The tourists' captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, decided to keep his team off the field following the decision, leading experienced Australia official Hair, and junior West Indian colleague Billy Doctrove, to conclude that Pakistan had refused to play.


In the ensuing mayhem, Pakistan were deemed to have forfeited the match after five hours of talks on Sunday, handing England a 3-0 victory in the four-match series.


Imran insisted he would have handled the situation differently from Inzamam, saying he "would have protested there, I would have called the manager out and I would have played under protest."


Elaborating on his comparison of Hair to Adolf Hitler, the former all-rounder said that when he was a player, "there were some umpires who, the moment they put on the white coat, sort of thought they were these dictators and wanted to stamp their authority on the cricket field.


"That's not how umpiring is supposed to be done."


Responding to questions over whether he had ever tampered with the ball, Imran, who spent much of his career playing for English county Sussex, said: "Ball tampering has been part of the game ever since the game was played."


On the same programme, Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, the former England all-rounder, reiterated his earlier comments that the tourists' tour of England may come to an end if Inzamam is found guilty of ball tampering in a hearing on Friday with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport's ruling body.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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