Holding defends Pakistan over ball-tampering charge


Legendary West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding wants Pakistan absolved of ball tampering charges, saying “first world hypocrisy” was to blame for cricket’s present crisis.

“I have absolute and all sympathy with (Pakistan captain) Inzamam-ul-Haq. If you label someone a cheat, please arrive with the evidence,” Holding wrote in the latest issue of the respected ‘India Today’ weekly magazine.

Inzamam stands accused of bringing the game into disrepute after his team refused to take the field in the recent Oval Test match against England in protest at umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove reporting them for ball tampering. The umpires later awarded the match to England, the first instance in the 129-year history of Test cricket that a game was forfeited, triggering the biggest upheaval in the sport since the match-fixing row in 2000.

Holding wrote it was “insensitive” of the umpires, Hair in particular, to penalize Pakistan for ball tampering. “Most other umpires would have said something to the captain, given the offending team a warning of some kind,” Holding wrote.

“There is a double standard at work in cricket and this episode has only highlighted it. When England used reverse swing to beat the Australians in the 2005 Ashes, everyone said it was great skill. When Pakistan does it, the opposite happens, no one thinks it is great skill. Everyone associates it with skulduggery,” he explained.
Source:The News

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