Squash: Mir Zaman faces ban for head-butt: Assault at British Open

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The Independent Online
MIR ZAMAN GUL, of Pakistan, faces a lengthy ban after head-butting the No 16 seed, Australia's Anthony Hill, and being disqualified as the British Open began at Lambs Club, London, yesterday.

Mir Zaman lost his self-control in a bad-tempered match when Hill - who had been given a code of conduct warning and a code of conduct penalty point - yelled in triumph and clenched his fist after taking a 7-0 lead in the final game. Mir Zaman hurled his racket toward Hill, whom he claimed had used bad language, walked towards him, 'eyeballed' him from six inches, then bashed his forehead into Hill's face.

Hill did not seem badly hurt, but fell dramatically. 'When he butted me, I thought 'That's nice, I'll sit down here and have the match, thank you'.' Hill said. The referee disqualified Mir Zaman instantly.

Mir Zaman has already had his prize-money withheld, and the tournament director said that the Squash Rackets Association will take disciplinary action apart from anything which the Professional Squash Association, the players' governing body, decides.

It is little more than a year since Mir Zaman completed a 12-month ban after being involved in an incident in which goods went missing from a trader's display in Germany.

Peter Nicol, a British hope, suffered a shock first-round defeat by the Australian qualifier, Craig Rowland, 7-9, 9-5, 4-9, 9-7, 9-0. Then the former world champion, Rodney Martin, missed three match points and lost 3-9, 9-5, 9-0, 5-9, 10-8 to the England No 13, Mark Cairns.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 39