Pakistan hope Inzy will be cleared of tampering

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Pakistan officials are confident captain Inzamam-ul-Haq will be cleared of ball-tampering charges at a hearing in London this week while accepting that he is likely to be penalised for bringing the game into disrepute.

Inzamam is due to appear before an International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct hearing at The Oval tomorrow and Thursday.

The hearing was convened after Pakistan refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day of the fourth Test against England at the same venue last month.

Pakistan's protest followed a decision by umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove to penalise Pakistan five runs for ball tampering. England were awarded the match by forfeit when Pakstan failed to emerge from the dressing room.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sources told Reuters both Inzamam and board chairman Shaharyar Khan believed the ball tampering charges would be dropped.

One source said in the past umpires had changed the ball after suspicions of tampering.

''But they didn't charge the concerned team with the serious allegation to avoid any unpleasant situation,'' the source said.

''There have also been situations where umpires have called the captain, spoken to him, warned him and then changed the ball.

''Our lawyers are going to take the stand that if they (the umpires) were so convinced the ball was tampered with they must have substantial evidence to make them so confident and Pakistan has the right to be shown the evidence by the ICC.'' A PCB official said Inzamam and the board were prepared for some sort of ban and a fine for bringing the game into disrepute.

The charge carries a potential ban of two to four tests and four to eight One-day Internationals.

''We have already prepared our appeal to be filed with the ICC so that he can play in the Champions Trophy at least,'' the official said. The one-day tournament, a prelude to next year's World Cup in the West Indies, will be staged in India next month.

Pakistan were particularly angered by what they regarded as Hair's insensitivity at The Oval and the PCB have asked the ICC to ensure that the Australian, who had clashed with Pakistan players before, does not officiate in any more matches involving the team.

Hair was then embroiled in further controversy when the ICC revealed that he had offered to retire in exchange for $500,000.

Inzamam left for London on Sunday where he will be accompanied at the hearing by Khan, coach Bob Woolmer, Pakistan lawyer Ahmed Hussain and the British lawyers representing the Pakistan skipper.

The hearing will be conducted by the ICC's senior match referee Ranjan Madugalle.

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