Leading article: Tall story

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The Independent Online

Far from drawing a line under a fortnight that threatened to engulf cricket, the return to Pakistan of three players accused of accepting money to bowl no-balls will prolong this saga. All say they will fully co-operate with the police, a position Andy Coulson would endorse. But their flying home means the case won't be resolved as soon as fans and players hoped.

Nor does the call-up of Mohammad Irfan stir confidence. The bowler, wicketless and ineffective in England's victory in yesterday's one-day international, is part of Pakistan's public relations counteroffensive. Yet his appearance merely confirms that, where Pakistani cricket is concerned, official information is otiose.

Irfan worked in a plastic pipe factory just a year ago, boasts an enormous smile, and is (probably) 7ft tall. He is being presented as a feel-good story, to counter the prevailing cynicism. The trouble is, nobody can agree on his height. Some officials say he is 6'8. Others say 7'2. The bowler himself says he doesn't know and, when it comes to the politics of the Pakistani dressing room, neither do we.