Hair in 'big trouble' says Inzamam
by AFP

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

DateLine: 30th August 2006


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has said umpire Darrell Hair is now in "big trouble" as the ball-tampering row took a new twist.


Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chiefs have called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to hold an inquiry into the conduct of 53-year-old Australian umpire Hair before disciplinary charges, due to be heard late next month, are considered against Inzamam.


The fourth Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval, south London, ended in bizarre fashion a week last Sunday when the tourists refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day in protest at being earlier penalised five runs for ball-tampering by Hair and West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove.


That move led to the first forfeit in 129 years of Test cricket and an England win which gave the hosts a 3-0 series victory.


Inzamam, as captain, was subsequently charged with ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.


On Tuesday, Pakistan - who'd already told ICC they did not want Hair to stand in any of their future matches - made their inquiry request.


"Darrell is in big trouble, I don't know why he is doing these things," Inzamam said.


"I'm quite happy for us to play the game after half an hour - and then the next day - because we had launched our protest. I don't know why he was not interested in playing," he also told Sky Sports News.


And the gifted batsman insisted both he and his side were completely innocent of ball-tampering.


"I'm sure 100 percent because I have done nothing. That is why I am doing these things, because I know we are not guilty and that is why we take this stance."


PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan added: "We are not pressing any charges, we are simply requesting that Mr Hair should be investigated."


After the chaos at The Oval, Hair then sent the ICC an e-mail saying he would resign as one of their elite umpires in exchange for 500,000 dollars.


Although he later rescinded his offer, Hair was still withdrawn from what would have been his first umpiring appointment since the events of August 20.


Now based in Lincoln, central England and a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board's reserve list of umpires, Hair was due to stand in a 2nd XI fixture between Derbyshire and Gloucestershire starting at Chesterfield starting Wednesday.


"It is inappropriate for him to do the match with what is going on," confirmed Chris Kelly, the ECB's umpires and match operations manager.


"There are lots and lots of issues."


Ever since the ICC made public Friday what Hair regarded as a "confidential" e-mail, he and the global governing body have been in dispute about the amount of encouragement, if any, he was given by officials to put an offer, described by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed as "totally inappropriate" in writing.


With his future career in doubt, Hair issued a statement saying: "I wish to apologise to all my family, friends and supporters, because I somehow feel that I may have let them down, simply by sending an ill-advised but entirely confidential e-mail.


But Hair added that he had been "stunned and gratified" by the number of messages of support he had received.


Pakistan returned to action with a five-wicket win in their inaugural Twenty20 international, against England, at Bristol on Monday.


The teams are due to begin a five-match one-day series with a day/night fixture at Cardiff on Wednesday where Doctrove is scheduled to be one of the on-field umpires.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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