ICL: Indian Cricket League

Hair has the last laugh!

Written by Muhammad Asim on August 21st, 2006   (411 views)

Inspite of all the character and pride shown by the Pakistani team, headed by their captain and all the officials of the PCB, its Darrel Hair who has the last laugh. Pakistan lost a match which had only one winner since the first morning. They were disgraced over this stupid act. With Inzi facing a possible four Test or eight ODI match ban, one wonders what solace would Pakistan captain take from all this mess in the final scenario.

One fails to understand why the protest was launched in between the day’s play when there is no support for this action in the book. This could have been better done after stumps. Ill-knowledge of the laws of the game is nothing new to Inzamam or even Pakistan cricket. But it was also made sure on Sunday, that none of the PCB gurus, loitering in the balcony with mobile phones, knew the rule-book. They even failed to deploy the tricks of the diplomacy, which they had been professing throughout their career until they decided to mess-up with Pakistan cricket.

Hair could have been best revenged by written words to the ICC not by denial to come to the ground. If sanity had prevailed then it was most appropriate to have a written statement by the team and board to the match referee, ICC and the media that “we have been accused of ball tampering without any proof, we have been labeled as cheats and as a proud nation we protest against it….” and so on. How on earth this never came to their mind? Agreed, Inzamam had all the powers to decide the issue for his side but he could be advised or told by the so-called ambassadors and knowledgable officials of the Pakistan Cricket board that this is not the way.

The point is not to support Hair or criticize Inzamam or PCB, the point is to support common-sense. Hair knew his rules well, although he forgot the ethics and spirit taught in his school or what his mama told him when he was a kid. Hair thinks his two eyes saw what 20 cameras missed. He always knew that ICC would not over-rule his decision as what he has done is mentioned in the book – umpires have got all the powers to decide the issue – and his stance, ego, stubbornness would be underscored by the authority for which he is working for. And that is what has happened. A five-minute protest inside the dressing-room became eternal enigma for Pakistan cricket.

The spirit of cricket is also to play in the worst of the circumstances. But there are no prizes for guessing that Inzamam and co. are not aware of this. It is understandable that they had been deeply hurt by the racist Hair and it had become a matter of pride for the Pakis. But at the same moment more pride was at stake in winning the game and reduce the hosts’ margin of victory in the series. ICC has clearly laid out the rules, some go with you some go against you. There is no point in criticizing the rules if they are chosen at one’s free will. If Pakistan think pride is better than the game then they should keep their word - they shouldn’t be playing any more cricket with Hair even acting as the reserved umpire in any international match.

For ICC, its time to decide which one is the bigger – players, umpires, rules or the game itself? If umpires continue chirping like this - tormenting the whole side by their unproved accusations - then game of cricket would end-up in a horrible mess. ICC has penalized Pakis of their ignorance of the rule-book by not coming out to field. What ICC would do with Hair if he fails to prove what Inzi and his side never did? The ball is in ICC’s court now.

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