Rameez backs Pakistan protest action
by AFP

Ground:Kennington Oval, Kennington
Player:Umar Gul, Rameez Raja
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 21st August 2006


Former Pakistan skipper Rameez Raja believes current captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was right to keep his team off the field in the chaos-hit fourth Test against England at The Oval.


Pakistan staged a dressing room protest during the tea interval to register their anger at being penalised five runs over allegations of ball-tampering.


But when they eventually returned to the field, umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove stayed in the pavillion believing that Pakistan had forfeited the match with their original protest.


"It was an ugly situation which painted Pakistan as cheats and Inzamam will not take that," said Rameez.


"He made the correct decision. It may appear against the spirit of the game but Pakistan are hurt by being accused of being cheats."


The controversy was sparked when veteran Australian umpire Hair penalised Pakistan five runs after paceman Umar Gul had completed his 14th over of the innings.


Hair believed that the condition of the ball had been unfairly altered.


After five hours of talks, it was eventually ruled that Pakistan had forfeited the match and England were declared the winners.


The home side took the series 3-0.


Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer told AFP: "The team is upset that they have been accused of tampering with the ball and therefore 'cheating'.


"It is a no-win situation as now Darrell Hair has refused to umpire."


Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahriyar Khan, who had talks with England counterpart David Morgan, insisted the reason for the impasse lay at the door of the umpires.


"The boys are extremely upset at the slur of ball tampering. As a result they registered a protest with the match referee for the decision unilaterally taken by the umpires.


"Once we did that, we were ready to go out and play but it seems the umpires are reluctant to go out.


"The whole team felt very aggrieved and Inzy (Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq) more angered than the rest. He felt we should make a protest but once that had been registered he was perfectly prepared to go on.


"We felt very deeply insulted by what was in the umpire's report and there seems to have been no evidence given.


"I felt the matter had been resolved but it now seems the umpires are reluctant.


"We feel it is extraordinary that we are ready to come out and the umpires say they cannot continue.


"It is very sad. I don't know what's going to happen in the future. I want the tour to continue," said Shahriyar ahead of the five-match one-day between England and Pakistan.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)