Hair trained his guns at team: PCB chairman

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said they had lodged a protest to the governing body, the ICC, over the ball-tampering charge and forfeiture of the fourth Test at the Oval against England.

He also called for an independent inquiry into yesterday's affair but pledged that Pakistan wanted to complete the England tour, which included five One-day International matches and one Twenty/20 game starting next week.

Shaharyar said a meeting including the match referee Mike Procter and the two boards had resolved to resume the Test today but the umpires had remained ''intransigent'' leading to an unprecedented forfeiture.

''It was a grievous blow to the spirit of cricket and the spirit that was prevailing at the meeting,'' he told a news conference.

''The team is deeply indignant at the way the ball-tampering accusation was brought to the team. They felt there was a slur on the reputation of the Pakistan team and a slur on Pakistan itself.'' He continued that Pakistan had worked hard to remove the stigma of previous ball-tampering allegations but one of the umpires, Darrell Hair, had ''trained his guns at the team''.

The chairman added that the team had assured him that no one had tampered with the ball and he said he was ''absolutely convinced'' that was the case.

''The PCB considers that yesterday's forfeiture was unwarranted and avoidable, that the sport was harmed and that with a little bit of flexibility we could have overcome this hitch that led to the forfeiture.

''The fact that this flexibility was not shown by the umpires is of grave concern to us.

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