Hussain perfects art of umpire diplomacy

Nasser Hussain, the England captain, finally declared his hand on Pakistani umpiring yesterday. Thirteen years after the side last came here and complained incessantly about dodgy decisions, and two days after the first dubious decision of this tour, Hussain delivered his verdict.

Nasser Hussain, the England captain, finally declared his hand on Pakistani umpiring yesterday. Thirteen years after the side last came here and complained incessantly about dodgy decisions, and two days after the first dubious decision of this tour, Hussain delivered his verdict.

"If it happened in a game in England it wouldn't be a story," he said, "or maybe a sentence. People are still talking about it days later because it's Pakistan. In general, except for that one decision, I thought the umpires were very good the other night. They handled the pressure very well and were very amiable with both sets of players. We had no problems."

His words were pitched perfectly and were just what was required on the eve of the second one-dayer, which will be not so much day-night as day-twilight. The start was brought forward yesterday from 2.30pm to 12 noon (8am BST), the first time that dew can have had such an effect.

It is impossible now to imagine a repeat of the incident in which Mike Gatting, the last England captain on a Pakistan tour, angrily shook his finger at umpire Shakoor Rana. One of the most unsavoury confrontations of all time between player and official, it was captured in a photograph which was seen round the world.

The decision which might have got England's dander up on this occasion was given against Alec Stewart. It was the fourth ball of England's innings in the first, epic one-dayer in Karachi on Tuesday and, after an uncommonly long delay to a prolonged appeal, the umpire Riazuddin (who has provoked the ire of previous tourists to these shores, particularly Sri Lanka) decreed that Stewart had edged the ball to wicketkeeper Moin Khan.

Stewart responded by lobbing his bat on the ground, shaking his head incredulously and stalking off to the confines of the dressing room. If it looked worse than it was, that did not make it wholesome. The match referee, Barry Jarman, had a quiet word with Stewart later.

Hussain said: "In any part of the world you shouldn't brood about umpires but if a batsman has had a bad decision I also want to see him... hurt. Some people will come into the dressing room, take off their pads and say nothing. Others will be stewing - wrong word - for half an hour."

The England captain qualified his comments by saying he did not want that reaction to be displayed on the field of play.

"I'm not going to comment on specific things," Hussain added. "Al got a bad one, we've all had bad ones and we're just going to live through it for the rest of our careers, not just this tour. I'm afraid what happened the other night happens all round the world."

Thereby hangs another tale. Umpires make mistakes partly because television shows that they do, partly because players intimidate them. Stewart's dismissal was preceded by Wasim Akram jumping up and down, arms aloft, face contorted and screaming for a positive verdict.

Later on, Riazuddin was not so accommodating when he rejected an equally fervent lbw appeal, which actually looked more out than the catch. The lucky man was Nasser Hussain.

Before he embarked on this tour Hussain might have guessed that he would have to comment on the umpiring. He might not have assumed that he would need to deliberate at any length on dew.

When Moin Khan, Pakistan's captain, gave it as a possible reason for his side's loss in the opening one-dayer the immediate reaction was to invite him to pull the other one. Not so. In Karachi the players could almost see it forming before their eyes; in Lahore it starts earlier. It makes the ball wet and fielding unsafe.

England did not win the first match because of dew but because they were the better side. None the less, it was a factor. "It was really bad, worse than Karachi when we practised here," said Moin.

If anybody had realised before the series started that dew formed on Pakistani evenings in October they were not saying. Hussain was again the perfect diplomat: "They're learning on their feet. I'm pleased to see Pakistan are trying things like playing under lights."

England were likely to be unchanged in Lahore this morning while Pakistan were hoping to include the all-rounder, Azhar Mahmood. It will be a tight, high-scoring game. The sides are getting on famously so far but not so well that when they pass each other they say: "Here's looking at dew."

ENGLAND (from): N Hussain (Essex, capt), ME Trescothick (Somerset), AJ Stewart (Surrey, wkt), GA Hick (Worcestershire), GP Thorpe (Surrey), A Flintoff (Lancashire), C White (Yorkshire), MA Ealham (Kent), AF Giles (Warwickshire), AR Caddick (Somerset), D Gough (Yorkshire), MW Alleyne (Gloucestershire), VS Solanki (Worcestershire).

Pakistan (from): Saeed Anwar, Salim Elahi, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana, Shahid Afridi, Moin Khan (capt & wkt), Abdur Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Wasim Akram, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis.

Umpires: Nazir jnr & Aleem Dar

3rd Umpire: Afzaal Ahmed

Match referee: BN Jarman (Aus).

* Shane Warne will be out of action for six weeks, missing the start of Australia's Test series against West Indies, after breaking a finger playing for Victoria against New South Wales.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice