Nothing wrong with The Oval Test ball, says Waqar

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Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis claimed in an interview on Friday that the ball in the controversial tampering saga that led to Pakistan forfeiting a Test to England last month had showed no signs of illegal alteration.

The fourth Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval ended in bizarre fashion on the fourth day when the tourists refused to take the field after tea in protest at being penalised five runs for ball tampering by umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove.

It led to the first forfeit in 129 years of Test cricket and an England win which gave the hosts a 3-0 series victory.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was subsequently charged with ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute. The International Cricket Council (ICC) will hold a hearing into the charges in London on September 27-28.

No television cameras at The Oval are understood to have captured Pakistani players engaging in illegal ball tampering and the condition of the ball will be central to the umpires’ case against Inzamam.

But Waqar, a majestic pace bowler of his era, insisted on Friday that the ball, which had been used for 56 overs, showed no sign of having been tampered with. The former Test pacer told The Sydney Morning Herald from his Sydney home he saw the ball immediately after it was taken from the field.

“I went straight into the referee’s room and asked to see the ball,” Waqar told the paper. “There was nothing wrong with it. I went and told the boys that I thought it was totally wrong — I promise you, nothing was wrong with it.

“There were 30-odd cameras at the ground that didn’t see anything, so you would think there had to be something wrong with the ball for Darrell (Hair) to do what he did.

“But I promise: I saw the ball and there was nothing wrong with it. It was bad for cricket, but if you ask me, it was good for our country and our reputation,” Waqar, an 87-Test veteran, added. “It wasn’t just about ball tampering. By doing what he did, (Hair) was calling the whole Pakistan team cheats, penalising us five runs with no evidence. That was totally wrong.”
Source:The News

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