Pakistan cricket captain faces ban

Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is facing a ban of up to eight One Day internationals or four Test matches after being charged with bringing the game into disrepute as well as changing the condition of the ball.

    Inzamam is furious at being accused of ball tampering

    The proposed penalty comes in the wake of Sunday's dramatic - and premature - ending of the fourth Test against England at London's Oval cricket ground.

    A veteran of 113 Tests and 362 ODIs, Inzamam has protested his innocence, instead placing blame for the escalating row with Australian umpire Darrell Hair and citing a history of trouble with the official.

    "Since I took over as Pakistan captain three years ago there have been no issues with ball tampering - except when Darrell Hair has been umpiring," Inzamam said.

    On the matter of refusing to return to the game in protest at the ball tampering allegation, the 36-year-old captain indicated that at no stage were Pakistan thinking of forfeiting the match.

    "We decided to stay in the dressing room as a means of expressing our anger. We didn't want to play on under the cloud of being called cheats.

    "Darrell Hair came in to warn us that if we didn't come out we would face another charge - at no point did he say we would forfeit the game."

    Support

    However, support for the controversial umpire in his native Australia has been growing with many cricket pundits saying he is the only one who upholds the laws of the game to their fullest.

    Darrell Hair has drawn flak from
    the Pakistanis

    Cricket writer Robert Craddock described Hair as the "bravest man in cricket" in an article in Brisbane's The Courier Mail.

    "Cricket needs no-nonsense characters such as Hair who keep the game honest," Craddock wrote.

    Former Australian Test captain Steve Waugh also weighed into the debate when he backed Hair’s decision to play things strictly by the book.

    "I definitely agree with that, if they don't go back on the field the Test is over," Waugh said.

    "No one's bigger than the game," he added.

    Bob Woolmer, Pakistan coach, said his side may boycott the upcoming One-Day series against England should his captain receive a ban resulting from the charges against him.

    "I would think that the one day tournament may be in jeopardy if he is found guilty and suspended for eight games," Woolmer said.

    Inzamam will face a Code of Conduct hearing with the ICC in London on August 25.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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