Shaharyar advises Pakistan players to gear up for ODIs

The mood in the tourists’ camp is of joy following disclosure of Darrell Hair’s demand for money to step down as an Elite Panel Umpire but the Pakistan cricket chief Shaharyar Khan is asking his boys to delay any celebration over the latest twist in The Oval Test saga.

“It is good for our case that the world now knows how he (Hair) asked for money following the fiasco,” said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman while talking to this correspondent here on Saturday.

“But it is just the beginning of our campaign to defend the charges levelled against us so it would be better if we take one step at a time and avoid reaching to conclusions too early,” he added referring to the International Cricket Council (ICC) charges of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute which if proved could result in a lengthy ban against Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Like his compatriots, Shaharyar described revelation of Hair’s demand for 500,000 dollars from the ICC following the fourth Test forfeiture as a “moral victory” for Pakistan. “We were punished by the umpires without any proof,” he said. “Now the umpire’s position itself has become suspicious,” he remarked.

Hair punished Pakistan for suspect ball tampering when he awarded five penalty runs and allowed England to choose a new ball in the second session of the fourth day of the final Test last Sunday even though there was no apparent evidence of any wrongdoings. Pakistan staged a dressing room sit-in but came out to play after the tea interval but only after the umpires forfeited the match in England’s favour. Almost a week after what has been described as one of cricket’s darkest chapters, Shaharyar is asking his players to resume focusing on cricket.

“I’ve told the players that the ball tampering may still be there but they have to concentrate on the cricket. We have a full one-day series ahead of us on this tour and need to do well in it,” added the PCB boss who has extended his stay in England to personally supervise Pakistan’s defense case for Inzamam. Pakistan were routed 3-0 by England in the four-match Test series, one of their worst ever results in England, and now play a Twenty20 game and five ODIs getting underway from August 28 at Bristol.

“There is no doubt that our players have suffered because of what happened in the last Test,” said Shaharyar. “But now they have to think about the (one-day) series against England,” he told.

Shaharyar said that the lawyers hired by the PCB are currently working on preparing a strong case adding that Pakistan would be fully ready whenever the ICC Code of Conduct hearing is held to decide Inzamam’s fate. “We believe our players are innocent but still there are charges to defend and I am sure they would be defended in the best possible manner,” he hoped.

Pakistan have hired a leading British legal firm which would be headed by a top sports lawyer to defend Inzamam.

Shaharyar dispelled rumours that Pakistan have been working behind the scene to garner support from the so-called Asian block in a bid to pressurise the ICC ahead of Inzamam’s hearing. “We enjoy good relations with our fellow Asian boards but that doesn’t mean we would be asking them to play a role in this case. We already have a strong case and just need to put it up,” he added.

Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on August 27th, 2006 with no comments.
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