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Imran, Akram slam Inzamam
- The day after The Oval witnessed history of a dubious kind

Karachi: Former Pakistan greats Imran Khan and Wasim Akram on Monday slammed Inzamam-ul Haq for leading his team out of the field against England at The Oval, while demanding the sacking of Australian umpire Darrell Hair who was branded as the “villain”.

“That’s not the way to lodge a protest. Inzamam and the Pakistan team have made a fool of themselves by not taking the field. Inzamam has not only brought the game into disrepute but has squandered a golden opportunity to pull off a consolation victory,” Imran said.

Akram was even more critical than his mentor. “It was a childish decision. The Pakistan team looked like a street side when they walked off. If they had any grievances, they should have held a press conference after the game but should never have left the field. It’s no cricket,” he said.

Akram recalled the Grenada incident in the West Indies in 1993 when he and three others were arrested for constructive possession of marijuana.

“The team wanted to return but we stayed there and let our lawyers and legal advisors sort things out. Our job was to play cricket and that’s what we did at the point of time,” Akram said.

Imran also blasted Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan for going to the press.

“Shaharyar had no business discussing the issue with the media. That’s the manager’s job. The issue has been badly handled by the PCB,” Imran said.

PCB advisor Naseem Ashraf, who was also present during Sunday’s controversy, told a private television channel that a full-fledged inquiry would be launched against Inzamam and his team.

He, however, defended the captain’s decision.“We will study the incident in detail and if we found that some players have breached the PCB or ICC Code of Conduct or have brought the game into disrepute, necessary action would be taken,” Ashraf said.

Imran said the honourable way was to take the ICC and Hair to the court of law. “PCB should have followed the example of the Sri Lankan board who filed a case of defamation against Hair and the ICC.

“After all, Hair had lodged a serious allegation of ball tampering that had to be handled professionally. Had the PCB done that, they would not have only won the Test, but also restored their pride.

Imran and Wasim branded Hair as villain of the piece and demanded his removal.

“Hair is a controversial figure and teams have had problems with him in the past. In this particular case, he levelled serious allegations against Pakistan without any substance. This man should immediately be removed from the ICC Elite Panel of umpires,” Imran said.

“As far as I am concerned, Hair should be sacked and that’s it,” Akram said.

Imran also accused Hair of acting like a “mini Hitler” and “fundamentalist” following his role in the Test.

“Hair’s brash and provocative manner makes him the main culprit in letting things go out of hand,” Imran wrote in his column in a local newspaper, headlined “Hair the Hitler does it again.”

Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad on Monday said Pakistan had put themselves in a difficult position and made a mistake by not taking the field.

“We committed too many mistakes and put ourselves in a no-win situation,” Miandad said. (AGENCIES)

UNUSUAL CRICKET

England’s victory in The Oval against Pakistan is the first instance of a team winning a Test by default in the history of the game. There are, however, a few instances of a team almost conceding a Test. They are as follows:

January, 1971 (England vs Australia) — England captain Ray Illingworth almost conceded the sixth Test at Sydney after tea on Day II. Trouble began around 5.00 pm after English seamer John Snow had hit Australia’s No.9 batsman — Terry Jenner — on the head with a short-pitched ball. Following this, a section of the crowd started throwing missiles on the field. When a spectator near the boundary line later manhandled Snow, Illingworth led his team back to the pavilion. The umpires (Tom Brooks and Lou Rowan) had to inform Illingworth that if he did not return, the match would then be awarded to Australia. England, however, returned to win the match by 62 runs on the fifth day.

February, 1981 (India vs Australia) — In the third and final Test at Melbourne, India — trailing by 182 runs — were 165 without loss when Sunil Gavaskar (70) was given out leg-before to Dennis Lillee. The decision incensed Gavaskar so much that he urged partner Chetan Chauhan to come off the field. However, a prompt intervention by the team management defused the tension and the innings continued. India went on to win the match by 59 runs.


ONE-DAY INTERNATIONALS

Three ODIs have been won by default so far. They are:

Pakistan bt India (Sahiwal, 3 November, 1978) — Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi called his batmen off the field (23 runs were required from 14 balls with eight wickets in hand) in protest against the persistent short-pitched bowling of Pakistani paceman Sarfraz Nawaz. The latter’s last four deliveries were all bouncers which had not been called wide. The match was then awarded to Pakistan.

BRIEF SCORES

Pakistan 205/7 (Asif Iqbal 62, Majid Khan 37; S Venkatraghavan 2/34). India 183/2 (A. Gaekwad 78*, S Amarnath 62). Pakistan won by default.

Sri Lanka bt India (Calcutta, 13 March, 1996) — Match referee Clive Lloyd awarded the match to Sri Lanka because of crowd trouble. At that stage, India needed 132 runs in 15.5 overs with two wickets in hand.

BRIEF SCORES

Sri Lanka 251/8 (PA de Silva 66, RS Mahanama 58*; J. Srinath 3/34). India 120/8 (S. Tendulkar 65; S. Jayasuriya 3/12). Sri Lanka won by default

Pakistan bt England (Leeds, 17 June, 2001) — Crowd invasion prompted England captain Alec Stewart to concede the match. Pakistan at that stage needed just four runs in 10.1 overs and with six wickets in hand. Match referee Brian Hastings of New Zealand had to award the match to the visiting team when England players refused to take the field.


BRIEF SCORES

England 156 (B Hollioake 53; Waqar Younis 7/36). Pakistan 153/4 (Abdur Razzaq 75; D. Cork 2/32). Pakistan won by default.

Compiled by Mohandas Menon

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