Let me catch ball tamperers, says Pakistan's sultan of swing
by AFP

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

DateLine: 3rd October 2006


Former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz said Tuesday he was able to detect ball-tampering from 1,000 yards (metres) away and offered cricket chiefs his services to stop the practice.


Nawaz, hailed as the pioneer of reverse swinging the ball during his heyday in the early 1970s and 1980s, said tampering was out of control in the modern game and called on world cricket chiefs to act.


"I can catch a player or bowler tampering from 1,000 yards," said Nawaz, who played 55 Tests and 45 one-dayers for Pakistan.


"It is rampant at the international level and it's the incompetence of the umpires who cannot catch tampering. I offer my services to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stop this."


Tampering returned to haunt cricket during August's Fourth Test at The Oval between Pakistan and England, which snowballed to become one of the game's most bitter episodes.


Australian umpire Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove of the West Indies changed the ball and awarded five penalty runs against Pakistan on suspicions that the condition of the ball had been illegally altered.


Incensed Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day and the South Asian team were deemed to have forfeited the match -- the first forfeit in 129 years of Test cricket.


Inzamam was cleared by the ICC of ball-tampering charges at a hearing last week after experts said they found no evidence, but was handed a four-match ban for bringing the game into disrepute.


Nawaz said he did not believe that Pakistan would have been foolish enough to tamper with the ball.


"Despite possessing reverse swing talent Pakistan have been accused of tampering (in the past), so they would have been foolish to do so with so much focusing and so much witch-hunting against them," Nawaz said.


"But I tell you, tampering does not always guarantee reverse swing and neither does reverse swing guarantee you a wicket, because you need to have great control over your length to get wickets."


Hair had got it wrong and should have stopped play at once had he suspected any tampering, Nawaz added. "The Oval and Old Trafford are two English grounds where the ball gets old quickly," he said.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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