Oval controversy still haunts players: Inzamam

Published: Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi :Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said his players are still struggling to put the controversial Oval Test behind them in the run-up to the One-day series against England.

''The team has still not forgotten the incidents in the Oval test. And the players have been under severe mental stress for the last one week,'' Inzamam wrote in his column in the ''Daily Jang''.

''The fact is the pressure is there because our team has still not been cleared of ball-tampering charges. But the management has told the players to try to win the One-day series.'' Pakistan play England in the first One-dayer in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Inzamam is due to attend an International Cricket Council (ICC) disciplinary hearing after the one-day series to answer charges of ball-tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.

Pakistan had refused to resume play after tea on the fourth day of the final test at the Oval in protest at a five-run penalty imposed by Australian umpire Darrell Hair and West Indian Billy Doctrove for ball-tampering.

Inzamam said he hoped his players could shake off the effects of the forfeited test and concentrate on the one-day series.

''Such incidents are part of life and despite such controversies life goes on. So we also have to likewise now focus on the one-day matches,'' he added.

''It was difficult for me as a captain to motivate the boys to focus on even one-day games but the players have responded well so far.'' He said the win in the Twenty20 match in Bristol had boosted the players' confidence and picked all rounder Shoaib Malik as the key player for the one-day series.

Malik missed the tests due to an elbow injury while pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Rana Naved also missed the series due to fitness problems, while Mohammad Asif was only available at the Oval.

''It was the bowling,which was not up to the mark in the tests. Our bowling is now strong again.''

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