Inzamam challenges Hair to provide tampering proof
Inzamam-ul-Haq on Monday challenged the Australian umpire Darrell Hair to prove that his team had tampered with the ball on the fourth day of the final Test at The Oval.
Stressing that his players were “100 percent innocent” of any wrongdoing, the Pakistan captain said the tourists were ready for a trial-by-television to clear themselves of ball tampering allegations.
“We have done nothing wrong and ready to use any means to clear our names,” said Inzamam as the controversy raged in the world of cricket following the umpires’ decision to forfeit the Test following a deadlock with the Pakistan team.
Inzamam said that he decided against coming out on the field after tea on Sunday in a bid to defend his nation’s honour. “It was our pride and honour that was at stake. On such times nothing is more important than defending your honour,” said Inzamam.
He was dismayed over Hair’s refusal to tell him the reason behind penalizing Pakistan and changing the ball. “His allegation is mean since he is not saying what his allegation is. He is just saying that you guys are cheats,” he remarked.
Inzamam said it was hard to imagine that the “26 cameras” covering the action were unable to show any proof of ball tampering. “I would say that the referees should use video footage and take a decision on this issue on the basis of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said that none of the umpires talked to him or Inzamam about forfeiting the match on Sunday evening. “Nothing of that sort happened,” Woolmer told this correspondent. “We believe the umpires should have asked us whether we wanted to forfeit the match,” he added.
Hair did go to the Pakistani dressing to ask Inzamam whether he would be coming out to play following a delay in the visitors’ return to the field after the tea interval. Inzamam retorted by saying that why did you change the ball? “I am not here to answer that,” said Hair and walked away. He returned to the field and removed the bails and though the Pakistanis did come out to play after that, the match was over. “It is a black day for cricket,” commented Woolmer.
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