Lamb book to fuel ball-tampering row

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The Independent Online
Cricket

Pakistan are likely to fly into a renewal of the 1992 ball-tampering row when they return to England this summer after Allan Lamb revealed at the weekend that he was retiring from cricket so that he could publish his autobiography.

The 41-year-old Northamptonshire batsman, who has long since been at the forefront of accusations against Pakistani bowlers, has made it clear that he will reopen the controversy that dogged the Test series of four summers ago.

The Test and County Board would almost certainly exercise its right of veto over the book's publication - scheduled to coincide with England's three Tests and three one-day matches against Pakistan this summer - if Lamb were to continue playing.

Lamb, who had already retired from the Test scene and indicated he would be playing only limited-overs cricket for his county this season, claims he has been left with no choice but to quit.

He said in a Sunday newspaper article: "If I continue to play cricket, they [the TCCB] will have the power to prevent me telling my story. And I have no doubt that they would use that power."

Lamb uses the article to savage the Lord's hierarchy, accusing them of forcing players "to sign contracts that turn them into slaves".

He added: "The English game is crying out for open debate. It is blindingly obvious that the game is in crisis and that the men who run it have no idea what to do.

"This was to have been my last season, my testimonial year, and I was genuinely looking forward to playing and ending my career on a high note. But because the TCCB is so frightened by what I might say, it will not happen."

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