The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I didn’t instigate anybody: Raja
- ‘I wasn’t reckless and said what I was convinced about’

Jaipur: The Media in England may have credited Rameez Raja with ‘instigating’ Inzamam-ul Haq during the controversial Oval Test, two months ago, but the former captain is absolutely clear that he didn’t add fuel to fire.

“My comments (on the TV) were of the positive kind... I wasn’t reckless and only said what I was convinced about. At the end of the day, it was Inzamam and the Pakistan team’s decision to not take the field that afternoon... I didn’t instigate anybody and have no regrets,” Rameez, also a former chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), told The Telegraph Friday.

In the Pink City on a Champions Trophy-related Media assignment, he added: “A protest had to be made (after umpire Darrell Hair’s ball-tampering accusation)... It’s another matter, though, that we should’ve continued to play (under protest) and not forfeited the Test.”

According to reports, the Pakistan dressing room erupted during tea on the fourth day when Rameez was heard saying: “It was a big decision (by the umpires, Billy Doctrove being the other) and I totally disagree with what happened out there... I’m disgusted with the way the laws have been interpreted. You cannot tell whether the ball has been scratched, unless you catch somebody in the process... It’s a needless controversy."

Incidentally, he’s disappointed that the PCB hasn’t taken things “a step further” after the International Cricket Council absolved Inzamam of the ball tampering charge. “It ought to have gone after Hair, for he started it all... I’m not aware of any move against the umpire... Inzamam has been banned (for four ODIs) for the forfeiture, but Pakistan scored a moral victory in last month’s hearing...”

The hearing was conducted by Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, a former Sri Lankan captain.

Asked whether the ICC should’ve taken Match Referee Mike Procter to task, Rameez replied: “Look, everyone involved in the episode contributed to making it ugly... Hair, the Match Referee and even the Pakistan team, which ought not to have stayed off the field... There are lessons to learn...”

Well, how many (and where) are actually going to learn'

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