Home > England, General Cricket, Pakistan > Opinion: The forfeited test…

Opinion: The forfeited test…

It seems that despite the game being 129 years old, you can still have something new popping up in it. A forfeited test match by Pakistan….. one which they in all likeliness would have won and reduced the loss margin to 2-1, will now look 3-0.

First …. ball tampering……. didnt we get that out of our skulls that it is called reverse swing now? and why would the Pakistan team get down to ball tampering when they are winning the game, and they have 26 cameras on the ball all the time?!?! Afridi’s pitch tampering was caught by 1 off camera in Dec, and he was severely reprimanded, why would Umar Gul, or Asif, 2 new guys who need to prove their mettle tamper with the ball to take out the seam? only 6 months after one of their team mates nearly had his career ended on an unfair tactic caught by the camera??

Then again, what did they tamper it with?? dirt in pocket? bottle cap?? In truth, the umpire only had a ‘suspicion’ that the ball had been tampered with….. All that he needed to do was to bring that to the notice of the match referee, would would have then at the end of the day looked at the footage of the day to find some proof…… either that or the umpire saw something happenning and was witness to ball tampering…..

Interestingly, neither is true…. the umpire was not a witness to anything…… he only saw the ball losing shape and seam, and immediately accused the team of ball tampering??!?! No camera footage, no witness….. only a feeling coming from a man stubborn enough not to think that he probably did not follow the logical pursuit ……

Interestingly, this time around the fight is not between ECB and PCB, as usual, but between PCB and the ICC umpire…… the English media has been supportive of the Pakistan team so far, including the commentators and the press……. Also a joint statement was issued…….

It was a pretty bad situation…… its not obvious what the team was trying to do when they did not come out to play initially….. did they actually forfeit the game?? Perhaps they did….. but then they came out, thinking that it was not a good thing to create such a big issue at that point in time…… the umpires did not come out then…… why? If the game was over, then the Pakistan team should have been told and they should never have been made to come out in the first place…….

Daryl Hair is actually a pretty bad umpire…… Pakistan team also considers him to be biased, and asked the ICC not to appoint him in their matches…….. that was before this series, and this incident has now come up…….

Hopefully the Pakistan team stays there and plays the ODI series….. I know that they would not do so under Daryl Hair…… the umpire may have to be changed……

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  1. August 21, 2006 at 4:07 am

    Fortunately, Hair has not been appointed for the ODI series.

    I’d expect that instead of being kicked off the Elite panel, Hair will retire. In other words, he’ll jump before he’s pushed.

  2. Bruce Gaskell
    August 21, 2006 at 5:46 am

    I have every sympathy for the Pakistani team. While it would be hard to actually prove they weren’t cheating, I fell it is very unlikely they were, for the reasons Nasir outlined.

    However, while Hair was obviously to blame for being officious/arrogant/ incompetent or whatever you want to call him, I also think the Pakistani team handled the situation really badly. If they wanted to make a protest fine, they could have made a press release at Tea and then strongly reiterated it later on, perhaps at the close of play.

    The PCB chairman said that they were just making a ‘small’ protest after tea for a few minutes. This isnt true, they were at least half an hour, and the body language of Akmal (I think) when he came out on to the balcony in that time proved they weren’t going any where.

  3. August 21, 2006 at 5:56 am

    Nobody has come out of this with any credit at all.

  4. Nishadh Rego
    August 21, 2006 at 6:26 am

    Its hard to prove anyone’s intentions, but the bottom line, stopping a test match just inflates the situation a whole lot more, and calls for unecessary attention. To be fair though, it is the umpires’ call and if they felt ball tampering was taking place they had every right to do what they felt was right. Personally, I don’t like Daryll Hair. He’s been in the middle of too many controversies.

  5. August 21, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    Rego…. if the umpire sees the ball being tampered, its one thing….. he is within his right to object…….. and do whatever……… if the umpire has suspicion by looking at the shape or condition of the ball, he is within his right to report that to match referee, who will then check the footage to find proof……. it is not possible that with 26 cameras, at least 15 of them being ON the ball, someone tampered with the ball without the camera catching it……….

    Also, if the umpire sees the condition of the ball as being damaged, he can tell the captain and change it………… Inzamam would have had no objection to that…….. ball is damaged, umpire shows it to the captain, and changes it…….. umpire has the right to do that……… but not to play sherlock holmes about how it got like that……. a ball can hit any solid object 4-5 times in an awkward spot and lose the seam a bit……

    The problem is that the umpire, upon seeing the condition of the ball, immediately gave his verdict that the Pakistan team had tampered with the ball……….. and the pig headedness was such that he didnt even for a momment reconsider his thought process……….. thats the problem……. being called a cheat without any proof……………

    A little bit on the Pakistan team……. whatever the result of this match, Asif would have remained as number 3 seamer for Pakistan, and Gul would have remained as number 4 option……….. its not that these 2 were going into wilderness if they didnt perform on this day……… regarding the importance of the match, it wasnt the world cup final……. it wasnt anything of consequence either……… two 23 year old guys are not going to put the next 15 years of their livelihood on the line for a day’s worth of glory in a pointless match in a dead series…………

    Given that Pakistan doesnt have anything against the ECB, I dont see why they should cancel the rest of the tour and go back……. whatever the result of the inzi probe………

  6. Nishadh Rego
    August 21, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    I’m not supporting what the umpires did. All I’m saying is that its within the laws of the game to stop a game if a team does not walk onto the field for 30 minutes, and leaves the umpires out there without warning. If I’m not right, the umpires did change the ball before lunch, however it was the Pakistanis who did not come out after lunch. If the ball was in an improper condition and the umpires felt it needed to be changed, they had every right to do so. I agree with you that this test was not very important. Why then did Inzamam make such a big deal out of the whole thing by not coming out onto the field.

  7. Tasmeena
    August 22, 2006 at 8:31 am

    Before I may say anything let me assure you that I am an ardent fan of Cricket and I love this game so whatever I say is not due to partialism.
    I am going to be straight forward in what I want to say….no diplomatic ways of narration…because I have had enough of whining and worst spotsmanship by the English….
    Today we have had another drama about Reverse Swing……Last year when Jones,Flintoff and Hoggard were reverse swinging ,never was the ball shown to be examined by umpires and it was taken to be just a case of an art being put in practice….!! The English Trio was hailed as MASTERS OF REVERSE SWING…!!!! No one found anything wrong….
    Now I want to take you back almost 15 years in the past….1990-91…. West Indies Captain D.Haynes and New zealand Captain M.Crowe “ACCUSED” Pakistan for doing “something ” to the ball….In fact it was just because they were whiners who could not take defeats fairly……Similarly in 1992 English media,newspapers,Players and dare I say even children and housewives went up in unison that PAKISTAN is tempering with ball….!!! Fact was that ENGLISH were totally oblivious with regards to this art…They did not know about it altogether…
    Hence each English player thought “if I don’t know how to do it then it must be something illegal …so why NOT accuse the other party and hide my embarrasment of defeat through these allegations…”
    Plainly I can say that if Person A does not know how to solve mathematical equations but person B does …then if A accuses B to be proponent of witch craft…then it will be a sad case of accusation due to one’s own less-learned approach…!!! That is exactly what has been happening till last year when finally England learned to reverse swing….
    It is on record that once I.Botham said …”THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS REVERSE SWING…IT IS ALL BUT PURE CHEATING” and now he is seen saying “ENGLAND BOWLERS ARE THE MASTERS OF REVERSE SWING….”
    HMMMM …How quickly one can change one’s words and thoughts……I even read in in English newspapers last year that reverse swing is as old as 1930’s and has been in practice in England…since then….how amazing….!!!!
    Now today when England thought they were going to lose fairly and squarely….an old “ally” came to their rescue..in the form of ever controversial, highly inept DARREL HAIR…Who seems to plagued with different “HUMAN ERRORS OF JUDGEMENT” whenever he is adjudicating on an appeal raised by Indian, Pakistani,Srilankan player…..He might not hear a big nick from 22 yards though it might be heard by a sparrow sitting 75 yards away on boundary..!!!
    He can ask for banning players for “over appealing” , he can warn bowlers and even batsmen for tempering with wicket…by running on it (only Asians have been accused by him..be it TENDULKAR,SALMAN BUT OR KANERIA…)…
    Then he can call a bowler a chucker…be it Murali,Afridi, Akhtar,Shabbir or Hafeez….
    Still he is on elite panel….Pakistan team have lodged official complaints about this HIGHLY PARTIAL umpire at least 3 times in 5 years…but still he is seen officiating no other match but those involving Pakistan,,….
    Fact of the matter is that with the passage of time this man has been growing wild with respect to Asian countries…and now he has started going really berserk….What happened today is totally INCOMPREHENSIBLE…..
    When after each over the ball is examined then how on earth the ball was deemed to be tempered so suddenly…….
    It is a fact that HAIR must be congratulated that in Cricket History …he is only the second umpire after T.Robinson from Zimbabwe ..who actually tempered with the ball….yes T.Robinson actually soaked a ball in water after he saw it reversing for Pakistan during a match in 1998….
    Today, I am sure that it was HAIR who scratched the ball with blades during some break….WHY DO WE ALWAYS ACCUSE TEAMS…IF ROBINSON DID IT IN 1998 why can’t Hair do it in 2006….
    I think we should look this matter from other PERSPECTIVE…..Justice can only be met if impartialty is met with….
    Because when umpires are always checking ball how can it be tempered…if and only if they are BLIND or if they are tempering with it themselves….
    Nowadays cameras are there…millions are watching on TV and scores of officials on ground are there….nowadays ball can not be scratched so easily by players …unless an umpire DOES it himself …YES an umpire can temper with the ball legally …on the pretext of setting the seem of ball right by plucking with blades………!!!!!!
    So before getting on to any conclusion I think looking at track record of this HIGHLY PARTIAL and dare I say very very rude umpire ….if justice is to be maintained then he should also be probed…..and what to say about his fellow umpire BILLY DOCTROVE….Who dileberately did not give Jimmy Adams caught behind against Pakistan in 2000 and Pakistan lost….later on he went into Pakistan dressing room…and officially apologized for partial umpiring…!!! wow…and still he is on elite panel and officiating in allaince with D.HAIR…
    I think if fast bowlers can hunt in pairs then shrewd and dishonest umpires can also hunt as well as hurt in pairs….!!!!!
    I think umpires are not beyond the game…they are part of it and they are human too…so they can resort to vindictism and wrong doing…so why not probe them too………
    CASE CLOSED……

    A VERY VERY DISAPPOINTED FAN OF GAME OF GENTLEMEN…!!!!

  8. August 22, 2006 at 10:39 am

    ummmm….. tasmeena……. the english press and the commentators are actually taking Pakistan’s side on this one…..

  9. August 23, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    Inzi’s hearing has been pushed back till the end of the tour…… so I guess the ODI series is back on…… this is good news……… perhaps an additional ODI can be scheduled, because nearly 1.3 days of cricket was lost in the test match…………….

  10. nadim
    August 24, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    Laws are the powers for administration when no option is left. To be empowered with rules does not mean he is right. Rules implementation are not very straight forward but require wisdom which that dumbhead do not have.
    Hair is sick he was behaving like a kid and just looked like he did all in a plan. The umpire is not a big thing that he neglects a player as nothing.
    Pakistan should not play any more unless Hair is kicked out permanantly.

  11. August 25, 2006 at 12:22 am

    There is massive confusion about what is going on…… Paistan team wants the issue resolved BEFORE any further cricket….. Pakistan Board, English Board and ICC want hearing till after the ODI series…….. there is disconnect between Pakistan team, Bob Woolmer and PCB as well…… there is rumour that Woolmer asked the team to protest for 5-10 minutes, but Zaheer Abbas, the manager told the team to keep protesting……..

    On top of all this, India is backing Daryl Hair indirectly…….. it is funny why India is jumping into the picture to throw around their weight……. they really have nothing to do with this issue……….

    ICC will most likely ban inzi for the matches, and the future of the ODI series looks uncertain at this time…… this is terrible…… international cricket should not be played in this haphazard manner…… either resolve the issue, or move on……. massive confusion is not the order of the day…..

  12. Art Needham
    October 29, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    The umpire can never please everyone no matter what happens. I have spent some time reading all the comments about Hair on many sites and I am still unable to understand what the real fuss is. As an umpire you make the decision on the evidence presented. Of course once a decision is made everyone knows better even the player at deep midwicket when you turn down an LBW.

    So poor old Hair has the critics of the world down on him.

    Umpired a top of the table first grade match on the weekend just gone. Day one was a tough day, roaring hot westerly wind and temperature in the high 30’s C. The favoured team got bowled out cheaply with a leggie taking 4. The underdogs had a small lead going into day 2. Tempers were a little frayed on the second day but thankfully the weather was kinder. So the game is petering out to a draw when at the fall of a wicket in the second innings of the beaten favourites one of yesterday’s heroes strides to the wicket. The player is limited in talent but he hangs around.

    I gave him the benefit of the doubt on two very close LBW decisions from the leggie. One was a toppie and the other a wrong one.

    With an over to go they bring on a youngster who had never got a wicket in first grade. The first three balls were offies delivered wide from the crease and spinning across the batsman. he played with the pad, no appeals. The wind had picked up again and it was blowing in from fine leg. The bowler wheeled around, came in close to the stumps and bowled of all things the gentlest of outswingers, seam up beautifully. The ball curved away ever so slightly. Drawn like a moth to the flame the batsman followed it with his pad, his bat tucked in behind. The ball was full of length but dropped a little and pitched and instead of going on with the arm and drift it straightened. The batsman was now caught on the crease, bent his knee to cover the ball and was struck on the roll in front of middle. With great surprise he straightened his leg, up went the appeal from behind and the bowler and up went the finger. The worst that would have happened was if it had missed the pads it would have hit the inside of leg.

    No problems, batsman walks off, bowler happy as Larry. The last two balls are played out, game over, everyone shakes hands, captains say it was well umpired, so you sit down take a drink before packing up thinking it was a fine effort.

    Suddenly the last LBW appears from the dressing room rushes over and shouts “that was the worst decision I have ever received in 20 years. You new umpires should learn how to play the game. How could you give me out to an offspinner turning like that, it would have missed the next set.”

    So umpiring training says never talk down and never have the last word so I asked him if he was finished and he stormed off. So I guess a ‘new’ umpire might have been upset but I am far from a new umpire, new in that area maybe but not new to umpiring.

    What does this have to do with Hair and his decision? Well if you are an umpire everything. In recent years we have seen an emphahsis in umpiring on the spirit of cricket. However my father’s words from many years ago are ringing truer by the day, a player will be upset most when he is found out doing something silly.

    So Hair called it as he saw it, no malice just courage of his convictions. Also in very modern crickets we have in the big matches, slow motion replays, hawkeye and commentators ever eager to find fault with an umpires decision. The commentators by their very comments bring the game into disrepute because they are covered by no Laws of Cricket. This questioning has percolated right through the game to the extent where a lonely umpire on some God forsaken windswept field is now absolute fair game for any hack who disagrees. And it is the umpire who is shackled by his code of conduct rather than the local hero with the big mouth and no manners.

    Hair did the right thing, it is a pity that the ‘game’ played it differently.

    For those who disagree please read the first verse of Vitae Lampada and take it to heart and perhaps suggest that it is compulsory study for ALL who play cricket and commentate on the great game.

    (The writer is a consultant in international marketing, a lecturer in negotiating skills and has umpired in 14 countries.)

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