Aug. 23: The Friday hearing into Inzamam-ul Haq’s actions during The Oval Test ball-tampering controversy has been postponed, but Pakistan wants to get over with the issue before the one-dayers begin next Wednesday.
A source said Pakistan is planning to ask the International Cricket Council (ICC) to hold the disciplinary hearing at the earliest, if possible before Monday.
The ICC announced earlier in the day that the Friday hearing has to be deferred because of the enforced absence of chief referee Ranjan Madugalle. The Sri Lankan cannot leave home because of his sister’s illness.
The ICC did not set a new date while announcing the postponement but indicated it would be “extremely difficult to fit in a hearing during the upcoming one-day series”.
It was then assumed that the hearing would be scheduled after the one-dayers, which Pakistan has threatened to boycott unless the team is absolved of ball-tampering charges.
But a Pakistan Cricket Board official told Reuters tonight that the team is willing to accept a replacement adjudicator, former West Indian all rounder Clive Lloyd, to speed up the process.
“We are talking to the ICC about having the hearing before the first match (on Monday). There’s no problem appointing Clive Lloyd — he is in Manchester,” he added.
Pakistan players are understood to be keen to clear the matter up before a Twenty-20 game against England on Monday at Bristol.
Contacted by The Telegraph in Uxbridge in England, Pakistan manager Zaheer Abbas said: “We would like the hearing to get over as soon as possible. After all, it’s not helpful for the state of mind of any player if he doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Usually, disciplinary hearings are held the same evening or the next morning, but there has been a complete departure in this instance.”
AFP had quoted Zaheer as saying: “We will play. There will be no problem.”
The reported move to ask for a hearing by early next week seems to have been firmed up during a meeting the team officials had with lawyers.
A Pakistani withdrawal from the one-dayers will lead to considerable losses for the England and Wales Cricket Board.