Pakistan ask ICC to hold inquiry into Hair's conduct

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Pakistan have asked the International Cricket Council to hold an inquiry into the umpire Darrell Hair's conduct in the Oval Test before their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq's disciplinary hearing.

Following the cancellation of the ICC executive board meeting in Dubai on 2 September, the Pakistan Cricket Board is demanding an urgent investigation into Hair's conduct.

"The PCB feels it was Darrell Hair who brought the game into disrepute at the Oval and not Pakistan," the PCB spokesman Ateeq Rauf said yesterday. He said the PCB had also reiterated that Hair was not wanted as an official in future matches involving Pakistan.

The ICC president Percy Sonn announced on Monday the cancellation of an emergency meeting to discuss the Oval controversy. Sonn said he had consulted each director of the ICC member countries and they decided the meeting was unnecessary because they were all well aware of the circumstances leading to Pakistan forfeiting the Test.

Hair sparked a major incident when he penalised Pakistan five runs for alleged ball-tampering. Inzamam was charged on two counts of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute by the ICC after the visitors failed to return to the field after tea in protest against Hair and his fellow umpire Billy Doctrove. "PCB is confident that not only Inzamam but the team will be exonerated of the charges," Rauf said.

He also reiterated that Pakistan were now committed to fulfilling the remaining matches on their tour despite the cancellation of the ICC meeting. Pakistan are due to play the first one-day international of this summer's series against England in Cardiff today.

Inzamam again questioned why the fourth Test had to be forfeited, while insisting his players were not guilty of ball tampering.

"I'm sure 100 per cent because I have done nothing," Inzamam said yesterday. "That is why I am doing these things, because I know we are not guilty and that is why we take this stance. Darrell is in big trouble, I don't know why he is doing these things. I'm quite happy for us to play the game after half an hour - and then the next day - because we had launched our protest. I don't know why he was not interested in playing. Now it is a big issue.

"I'm not worried about me and Darrell - I'm thinking about the cricketers. It's not good for their cricket and a lot of people who have seen us think it is not good."

PCB sources confirmed that Pakistan had consulted legal advisers and had spoken to other ICC members and were planning to move a motion to oust Hair from the élite panel and have the charges against Inzamam and the team dropped.

Hair, meanwhile, has been withdrawn from a county second XI fixture he was due to officiate in today. Hair was due to stand at Chesterfield in Derbyshire's match against Gloucestershire.

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