| Inzamam-ul Haq
Karachi: Pakistan have asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to hold an inquiry into umpire Darrell Hair’s conduct in The Oval Test before captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s disciplinary hearing.
Following the cancellation of the ICC Executive Board meeting in Dubai on September 2, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan, in a letter to the world governing body, has demanded an urgent investigation into Hair’s conduct during the fiasco.
“The decision by the ICC to cancel the Executive Body meeting in Dubai was taken after a consensus was reached among the members,” Shaharyar told a newspaper in London on Tuesday. He also said that Pakistan were okay with the cancellation as long as the ICC agreed to open an inquiry against Hair for his role in The Oval Test.
“The PCB feels it was Darrell Hair who brought the game into disrepute at The Oval and not Pakistan,” spokesman Ateeq Rauf said on the other hand.
He said the PCB had also reiterated that Australian Hair would not be accepted as an official in future matches involving Pakistan.
Hair sparked a major incident when he penalised the Pakistan team five runs for alleged ball-tampering.
Inzamam was charged on two counts of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute by the ICC after the visitors failed to return to the field after tea in protest against Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove.
The controversy took a twist when ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed later announced that Hair had asked for $500,000 as a one-off payment to quit the ruling body’s Elite Panel of umpires during discussions through e-mails with umpires’ manager Doug Cowie.
The hearing against Inzamam is now scheduled for late September but the PCB said it was confident he would be cleared of all charges.
He also reiterated that the Pakistan team were now committed to fulfilling the remaining matches on their tour of England despite the cancellation of the ICC meeting. Pakistan beat England by five wickets in a Twenty20 match at Bristol on Monday.
Inzamam told a newspaper that he was relieved to be resuming the tour. “The team’s intention was never to disrupt the tour because we have nothing against the England board or public. We just took a principled stand,” he said.
Inzamam was visibly unimpressed when jeered as a “cheat” from a section of the crowd while walking into bat in Bristol.
PCB sources confirmed that Pakistan had consulted their legal advisers and spoken to other ICC members and were planning to move a motion to oust Hair from the Elite Panel and have the charges against Inzamam and the team dropped completely.