ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan seek Asian, neutral support for the case of Inzamam



Pakistan are lobbying for support of leading cricket nations ahead of the September 2 meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Executive Board in Dubai in a bid to save captain Inzamam-ul-Haq from a possible ICC ban.

They are also eyeing a majority vote from the Executive Board to ensure that Australian umpire, at the centre of The Oval Test fiasco, is sacked over his role in what is termed as one of cricket’s biggest scandals.

After it became apparent that the ICC would be backing their umpire Darrell Hair at the Dubai moot, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have begun efforts to convince the fellow Asian boards as well as neutral nations, South Africa and the West Indies, to side with them next week.

The ICC levelled charges of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute against Inzamam on the basis of the umpires’ report over The Oval forfeiture last Sunday. If found guilty, Inzamam could be banned for up to four Tests or ten one-dayers.

His case is set to be discussed at a hearing in London at the end of next month, but the PCB officials and their lawyers believe that recent developments have brought them in a position to get Inzamam cleared of the charges at the Dubai meeting.

The Pakistani camp believes the ICC disclosure that Hair made a half-million-dollar offer to quit following the fourth Test row has put the umpire’s credibility in doubt and helped their case.

They believe that Hair is the main witness in the ball tampering accusations against Pakistan and now that he could himself be accused of ‘blackmailing’, it would be difficult for the ICC to ban Inzamam on the basis of evidence provided by the Australian.

Pakistan are certain that if the cricket chiefs of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh fully support them in the ICC Executive Board meeting, then South Africa and West Indies would also join their corner. Their past track record indicate that England, Australia and New Zealand would side with the ICC but they would be out-voted if Pakistan are able to garner the sort of support they believe can be sought following ample lobbying.

“Sri Lanka and Bangladesh promised us complete support soon after (The Oval Test) controversy and later India also followed suit. We are sure that South Africa and the West Indies will also be on our side much ahead of the (September 2) meeting,” said a Pakistani official requesting anonymity.

Pakistan’s mission is to achieve two goals in Dubai next week. They would want the charges against Inzamam dropped and get an assurance that Hair will not officiate in an international match, at least not when their own team is involved.

The ICC so far is giving Hair complete support. In a recent interview, the body’s chief executive Malcolm Speed hoped that Hair will still serve as an elite umpire in spite of what has happened in the past week. But with Pakistan gunning for his head, things do not look bright for Hair.

Source:The News

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