Cricket: Inzamam confronts barracker

The sight of a leading Pakistani player armed with a bat striding into the crowd to confront a spectator, whose abuse and barracking had been amplified by a megaphone, was the unwelcomed highlight of the Sharjah Cup in Toronto on Sunday.

Play was held up for 37 minutes when Inzamam ul-Haq took drastic action after being subjected to personal and religious abuse while fielding on the boundary during the match against India.

The 27-year-old Inzamam marched into the stands, picking up a bat en- route, to face the spectator. A section of the 4,000-strong crowd went wild, throwing bottles and other debris on to the ground. Play was halted while Inzamam was escorted away and the teams retreated to their dressing- rooms.

The reaction of the International Cricket Council was to find the Test batsman guilty of "conduct unbecoming an international cricket player and for bringing the game into disrepute". He has been suspended for the next two cup matches - tomorrow and Saturday - and will be suspended for a third match if he misbehaves again before the end of the year.

"He's a wonderful batsman, but I don't know how good a boxer he is," Geoff Boycott, the TV commentator and former England batsman, said.

For the record, India won the second of the one-day games by seven wickets and lead the five-match series 2-0.