Pakistan to refuse to play under umpire Hair

Published: Monday, August 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi, Aug 21 (Reuters) Shaharyar Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), today said the board would not accept Australian umpire Darrell Hair for any matches.

''We are going to make it clear to the International Cricket Council (ICC) that we are not going to play under the supervision of Hair in any future matches,'' Khan told Reuters by telephone from London.

Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove awarded the fourth Test at the Oval yesterday to England after Pakistan refused to return to the field after the umpires had imposed a five-run penalty against them for ball-tampering and changed the ball.

The ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said Pakistan could face further charges for their refusal to take the field when the two umpires meet for further discussion on Monday.

Shaharyar, however, said the Pakistan team, both boards and even the match referee wanted to resume the Test but Hair did not move from his view that under the law Pakistan had forfeited the game.

''Even the match referee, Mike Proctor, was keen that somehow the match should be held on the final day and that some flexibility was needed to be shown by the umpires. But Hair refused to listen to anyone,'' he said.

''We were also willing to give in writing that the umpires were entitled to change the ball and they didn't act outside the law. We accepted that,'' he added.

While stressing that the PCB did not have any axe to grind with Doctrove, who will supervise the first three of the five One-dayers, Shaharyar said the PCB in the past also indicated to the ICC that it was not happy with Hair's attitude.

Relations between the Pakistani players and Hair came to a head last November when Hair and fellow Australian umpire Simon Taufel were blamed for being ignorant of the laws in giving captain Inzamam run-out in the second Test against England.

Inzamam was declared out after England's Steve Harmison, the bowler, knocked down the stumps at the striker's end when it seemed Inzamam was not attempting a run in Faisalabad.

Shaharyar said Pakistan would send a letter of protest to the ICC over the umpires' verdict of ball-tampering and the subsequent forfeiture even though Pakistan were prepared to continue.

''What happened on Sunday could have been avoided. There is no doubt that the law about ball tampering is very clear but it is arbitrary and regrettable. The umpires didn't even bother to ask our players what had happened.

''We know for a fact that no ball tampering took place. Several times the ball hit the concrete when (Kevin) Pietersen was batting.

The ball was in a condition one would expect a ball used for 56 overs to be,'' he stated.

He also defended his team's action to not come out immediately after tea to register their protest.

''They didn't come out because they were wronged. The decision to change the ball was pre-meditated.'' Since last year, Hair has stood in every series played by Pakistan.

Shaharyar also made it clear that the One-day series against England was not in any danger of not being played.

''The boards and players even wanted to carry on the Test match on Sunday. We felt sorry for the paying public.''

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