Cricket: Inzamam Cleared of Cheating but Pakistan Still Pursue Hair ; BALL-TAMPERING VERDICT
Llewellyn, David, The Independent (London, England)
The Pakistan captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, was cleared of ball- tampering yesterday, but banned from four one-day internationals for bringing the game into disrepute following the saga at the Oval in the final Test of the summer, but it is unlikely to be the end of the matter.
As happy as Inzamam was at the verdict of the two-day International Cricket Council disciplinary hearing delivered by the chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, - he claimed the decision a "victory for Pakistan" - the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Shaharyar Khan, said the board had not given up hope of pursuing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute against Darrell Hair.
It was Hair's intervention on the fourth day of the fourth and final Test between England and Pakistan at the Oval last month - claiming the tourists had been guilty of ball-tampering - which led to Inzamam refusing to lead his players out after the tea interval. Yesterday he was deemed to have brought the game into disrepute by that action.
But there was an intriguing by-product of the explosive affair when it was announced that Hair, who will be 54 tomorrow, would not be standing in next month's ICC Champions Trophy on the Indian subcontinent, where feelings about him run high.
In a statement, Malcolm Speed the ICC chief executive, said: "For Darrell Hair, a decision has been made in consultation with the ICC president Percy Sonn, the ICC general manager of cricket David Richardson and myself that he will not umpire at the Champions Trophy amid concerns over his safety and security and the safety and security of those around him during the tournament."
But no mention was made of whether Hair, whose contract on the ICC's elite panel of umpires runs out on 31 March 2008, would be standing in the South Africa-India series or the rubber between New Zealand and Bangladesh, both of which start in December. Indeed, the man himself had no idea when he would next be officiating in any match, be it a Test or a one-day international, and that can only provoke speculation about his future.
"I don't believe any further appointments have been made by the ICC, but you would have to check mat out with them," Hair said. "The appointments process varies. Sometimes we are told a few weeks in advance, sometimes a few months."
There is no question of him being invited to officiate in the series between Pakistan and West Indies.
Hair, who now lives in Lincoln, has been on the England and Wales Cricket Board's reserve first-class list of umpires, so he could always turn to that.
Hair was prepared to front up and field a barrage of questions yesterday, but was unable to say much because of the restraints placed upon him by the ICC's code of conduct for umpires. He deflected most questions in a courteous and humorous way.
When asked why he was the only umpire appearing before the media, when his …
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Publication information: Article title: Cricket: Inzamam Cleared of Cheating but Pakistan Still Pursue Hair ; BALL-TAMPERING VERDICT. Contributors: Llewellyn, David - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 29, 2006. Page number: 78. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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