The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘It’s not an Asia vs Hair battle’
- No objection to hearing after ODIs, says Shaharyar

Calcutta: There have been conflicting reports, but Shaharyar Khan has told The Telegraph that Pakistan wouldn’t mind the rescheduling of Inzamam-ul Haq’s disciplinary hearing till immediately after the upcoming ODIs against England — provided adjudicator Ranjan Madugalle is available by then.

The five-match series begins in Cardiff on August 30 and ends in Birmingham on September 10.

“It’s a fact that we wanted the process to be completed quickly. However, because of a genuine reason (Madugalle’s non-availability owing to his sister’s illness), we won’t have any problem with a postponement till the ODIs conclude,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman informed.

Speaking from London on Thursday evening, Shaharyar added: “Of course, the situation will change if Madugalle can’t conduct the hearing for an indefinite period… The position, I suppose, is going to be clear when the International Cricket Council (ICC) lawyers meet with our legal advisors in the next 24 hours.”

[Till rather late, though, a comment couldn’t be got from the Colombo-based Madugalle. While his house phone went unanswered, the cell was in voice mail-mode.]

Significantly, Shaharyar maintained that the PCB wasn’t involving Asia in its fight with controversial umpire Darrell Hair.

“It’s between Hair and Pakistan… Countries have extended their support, communicated through calls to me, but we aren’t looking to make it an Asia versus Hair battle,” he said.

The Pakistan captain, it may be recalled, has been charged on two counts: Ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute at The Oval, on what became the last day of the four-Test series.

A heavy penalty awaits Inzamam if both charges are upheld by the adjudicator. He can, of course, appeal.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the ICC has confirmed chief executive Malcolm Speed is heading for London.

“Mr Speed will have a series of meetings, but specifics haven’t been finalised,” remarked an official, when contacted in Dubai.

One understands the ICC’s in-house lawyer, Urvasi Naidoo, is going to be on the same flight.

Footnote: Pakistan’s limited overs match against Middlesex, at Uxbridge, was called off without even a ball being bowled. “Heavy overnight rain affected both the wicket and the adjoining areas,” explained manager Zaheer Abbas.

Why Madugalle

... Because, by a process of elimination, others get knocked out... Here goes:

Tier I Match Referees

  • Chris Broad: He’s an Englishman and, so, can’t be treated as neutral.

  • Jeff Crowe: Was on assignment in North America when the controversy erupted. Hence, not available.

  • Ranjan Madugalle: Being the Chief Match Referee, he has the best credentials. Neither Pakistan nor England objected to his appointment.

  • Roshan Mahanama: Has recently been promoted to Tier-I. Inexperienced, perhaps, to handle a major issue.

  • Mike Procter: Is in the thick of it all. Can’t be judge and prosecutor.

Tier II Match Referees

  • Alan Hurst: He’s an Australian and, so, can’t be treated as neutral.

  • Clive Lloyd: Big on stature, but one of the umpires involved in the controversy is a West Indian — Billy Doctrove. So, can’t be seen as neutral.

  • Jawagal Srinath: The least experienced of them all
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