Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ball tempering fiasco at Oval

It has been called the Ovalgate where last month ICC's empire Darrel Hair charged that Pakistan had tempered with the ball, an allegation Pakistan challenged by refusing to take the field after tea. For the first time in test cricket's history a match was forfeited and England was declared the winner.

The rumblings of this incident was felt immediately all across Pakistan with front page news and street protests.

Pakistan team felt that Hair has accused them unfairly and their caption Inzamam-ul-Haq said it was a slur against his country's integrity.

A Code of Conduct hearing held at The Oval cleared Inzamam of ball tempering charge. ICC hearing concluded that the marks on the ball were consistent with normal wear and tear as would be the case of a ball used over 52 overs. Inzamam was. however, banned for 4 ODI matches for bringing the game to disrepute.

Inzamam-ul-Haq is happy with the outcome of the hearing and said he would not seek legal action against Darrell Hair after being cleared of ball tampering charges by the ICC. "Our religion Islam teaches us to forgive and forget, so I forgive Hair and will not take any action against him," Inzamam told AFP on his return.

This seems to be a victory for reason and common sense.

Geoffrey Boycott, former England cricketer and now a commentator was one the experts who examined the condition of the ball at the ICC hearing at Oval. After ICC verdict was given out overuling Hair's ball tempering charge, he had a scathing attack on Hair for refusing to show any contrition.

In the Daily Telegraph Boycott wrote, "Hair is the first man to apply the five-run penalty for ball-tampering and he got it wrong. He is also the first man to call a Test match forfeited, and I believe he got that wrong too."

Now it remains to be seen what the future holds for Hair's career with ICC who is responsible to cause this incident in the first place.

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