Inzamam denies Waqar forced him to boycott

Published: Sunday, October 1, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore: Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has denied that bowling coach Waqar Younis pushed him into boycotting the controversial Oval Test after his side was penalised five runs on ball-tampering charges, saying the decision was taken by the entire team management.

''It was a unanimous decision. The entire team management including Waqar and all the players backed the decision and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also supported us. It is just not true that only one or two persons imposed the decision on others,'' Inzamam told reporters on arrival from London.

Pakistani and English media had reported that former team-mate and now bowling coach Waqar had strongly advised Inzamam not to take the field after tea on the fourth day of the final Test at The Oval which later snow-balled into a major row.

Inzamam was on Thursday cleared of the ball-tampering charges in an ICC disciplinary hearing by chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle but handed a four-ODI ban verdict for bringing the game into disrepute by not taking the field on the fourth day of the Oval Test.

The 36-year-old right handed batsman from Multan also dismissed reports that decisions reached at the disciplinary hearing were the result of some sort of bargaining between the ICC and PCB which subsequently refrained from filing an appeal against the ban imposed on Inzamam.

''It is not true. Actually, we decided not to file an appeal against the verdict because I received the minimum punishment under Level 3. There was no chance of complete acquittal as the ICC had to penalise me for the circumstances that led to the eventual forfeiture,'' Inzamam said.

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