The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday delayed Inzamam-ul-Haq’s disciplinary hearing over The Oval Test row, easing a prevailing atmosphere of tension and uncertainty a bit.
The hearing, that was set for Friday in London, was postponed due to the unavailability of adjudicator Ranjan Madugalle, the ICC announced in a statement.
The move was seen here as one that might save the One-day International (ODI) series against England which has been in jeopardy following the fourth Test forfeiture last Sunday.
Madugalle, a former Sri Lankan Test player who is now a respected ICC match referee, was unable to fly to London for the hearing because of his father’s surgery.
The tourists had threatened considering a pull out from the series after The Oval Test fiasco which was followed by ICC’s charge-sheet against Inzamam that include accusations of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.
If the charges are proved, the Pakistan captain could be banned for up to four Tests or eight ODIs.
Pakistan would have most likely brought an abrupt end to this controversy-hit tour of England had Inzamam been banned following Friday’s hearing which is why the cricket circles here were relieved to hear about its postponement.
The Pakistanis have strongly denied the charges of ball tampering and have instead hit out at Australian umpire Darrell Hair, saying that he punished them without any evidence. Hair awarded five penalty runs against Pakistan and changed the ball on the fourth day of the final Test that paved way for the abandonment of the match.
“The difficulty relates to the availability of Ranjan Madugalle to chair the hearing as he is dealing with a private and personal matter that requires his urgent attention,” the ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed announced.
The Australian added: “Pakistan and England, as the host country, have both expressed a preference for Ranjan to hear the case and on that basis we have agreed to the postponement.”
He said the ICC was unable to find a good alternative for Madugalle. “We have looked at potential alternatives but, as the ICC’s chief referee and a person with immense credibility within the game, Ranjan is the most appropriate person to adjudicate in this matter.”
Pakistan are scheduled to begin their one-day series against England with a Twenty20 match in Bristol on August 28. It would be followed by five ODIs from August 30 in Cardiff to September 10 when the last one-dayer would be held in Birmingham.
Speed said the ICC would be unable to fit in the hearing during the series. “We are yet to decide upon a new date but the intense nature of the upcoming ODI series between England and Pakistan is likely to make it extremely difficult to fit in a hearing during that period.” Pakistan officials refrained from commenting on this latest development.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, August 24th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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