~~Pak can replace Inzamam in Champions Trophy~~

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has told Pakistan they can replace captain Inzamam-ul-Haq in next month's Champions Trophy if he is banned at the ICC disciplinary hearing being held in London.

Inzamam attended the proceedings at the Oval on Wednesday after being charged with ball-tampering and bringing the game into disrepute in the fourth Test against England last month.

The hearing, which continues on Thursday, was convened after Inzamam and his team refused to finish the Test in protest over the umpire's decision to change the ball and penalise them five runs for alleged ball-tampering.

The umpires awarded the match to England and charges against Inzamam carry bans of two to eight one-day internationals.

''We had approached the ICC on this issue and they have told us that we can seek a replacement by putting in a request to the tournament technical committee,'' a Pakistan Cricket Board official told mediapersons.

Despite the charges against him, the PCB has retained Inzamam as skipper for the Champions Trophy.

''We have been informed that under the ICC Code of Conduct regulations any appeal against a ban would also be decided by Oct 7,'' he said.

Big Impact: Former Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram said that if Inzamam was banned and missed the Champions Trophy it would have a big impact on Pakistan's chances in the tournament.

''I have no doubt that if Inzamam is banned, Pakistan will face problems, although they have a very balanced side which is well versed in playing on Indian pitches,'' Akram, Pakistan's highest test and one-day wicket-taker, said.

The PCB has indicated it will appeal if Inzamam is banned for any matches so that either he plays or it can get a replacement for the Champions Trophy tournament from Oct 7. Pakistan's first game is not until the 18th.

According to the ICC Code of Conduct the PCB has to appeal against a ban within 24 hours. The ICC will then appoint a Code of Conduct committee within three days and take a decision within seven, the official said.

Sources said Pakistan have told vice-captain Younis Khan to prepare to lead the side in the Champions Trophy as they expect the disrepute charges to be upheld against Inzamam.

Inzamam's father, Pir Intazam-ul-Haq, who is a spiritual figure in his hometown of Multan, said whatever his son did was for the honour and prestige of the country and that he feels no guilt for his actions.

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