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Since 1st March, 1999
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Inzy: Match should be treated null and void
- My initial reaction was to resign, says Woolmer
Inzamam-ul Haq

Islamabad: Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to treat the fourth and final Test against England, which his team forfeited in controversial fashion after a ball-tampering row, as null and void.

Inzamam said Pakistan was in an invincible position before the match was abandoned, and the team management will seek to discuss the issue with the ICC and try and change the result of the tie.

[Till late on Tuesday, though, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hadn’t made such a demand, adds Our Special Correspondent in Calcutta.]

“Pakistan were in a winning position, but England were declared (the) winner. So our disappointment is very natural,” Inzamam wrote in his column.

The middle order batsman also claimed that Hair, who first reported the alleged tampering, had insulted Pakistan.

However, Inzamam said he had no regrets despite being charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

“I slept well on Sunday night because I felt I had done the right thing,” Inzamam told a newspaper on Tuesday.

“I am hugely disappointed and hurt by the slur cast on our team by Hair. I never thought my last Test in England would end this way,” he said.

“I have no doubt that what transpired on the fourth day of the Oval Test is the biggest disappointment of my long career.

“The team has still not got over it. And I don’t know for how long more the team has to live with the accusation of being called cheats without any proof.”Inzamam recalled that the match was proceeding smoothly when he saw umpire Hair change the ball.

“He talks about the spirit of the game. But he never bothered to talk to me and tell me something was wrong.

“We have always had problems when Hair has stood in our matches. Take the Leeds Test for example the decisions given by him made a big difference to the result we still didn’t protest,” he said.

Inzamam said the ICC should hold the inquiry proceedings publicly. “If we are found guilty I am ready to face any punishment.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said he had considered resigning over the fiasco. “While my initial reaction was to resign, I have now reconsidered this,” he told a British daily.

“If I had done, it might have been wrongly interpreted as an admission of guilt, but I was not happy about being involved in what occurred at The Oval.

“I love cricket, its ethics and its traditions, and this has rocked my sensibilities.”

“The PCB wrote to the ICC before the series, asking, in so many words, that Hair should not stand, if possible,” Woolmer said.

Woolmer also said Hair should have realised that in the light of the current outlook towards the Islamic world, such an incident could be rather inflammatory.

“I wonder whether Darrell realised the consequences of his actions. Indeed, when he spoke to Inzamam in the dressing-room when he came in for less than 30 seconds to try to persuade us to take the field, he was abrasive and short,” he said.

Another newspaper reported that England coach Duncan Fletcher had met Match Referee Mike Procter on Sunday morning.

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