THE reverberations arising from the England's acrimonious Test series against Pakistan took a further turn yesterday when Javed Miandad, the Pakistan captain, indicated that he planned taking legal action against at least two national newspapers over articles which he claimed contained libellous material.
According to Javed's solicitor, Ash Karim, Javed was pursuing court action in the light of a 'sustained attack on the Pakistan touring party by the tabloid press.'
Karim said that Javed had also taken exception to comments made by Simon Heffer in an article in the Sunday Telegraph on 12 July. The article, under the headline, 'The pariahs of cricket', alleged that cheating in Pakistani cricket had a prominent history, and called the ethics of Javed into question. Karim outlined his intentions in an interview that appeared in yesterday's issue of Eastern Eye, the British-based Asian newspaper.
'Javed was particularly upset by these articles and wishes to vindicate his reputation,' Karim said. He also indicated that Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis had further grounds for action over allegations of ball-doctoring made after the fifth Test at The Oval, and widely reported in the tabloid press. Karim named the Daily Mirror as being one of the main offenders in this regard.
Karim added that he intended calling two Test umpires to give evidence on the Pakistani team's behalf. Presumably the two officials who exonerated Wasim and Waqar of any malpractice in the fifth Test at The Oval, Harold Bird and David Shepherd, are the umpires in question.
On the morning after the Test, photographs of Waqar apparently picking the seam of a ball were carried in tabloid newspapers. The pictures were cited as explanations as to how Waqar and Wasim had been able to generate such prodigous swing.
Yesterday Shepherd, who says he has not had any official approach from Karim, reiterated that both he and Bird and the match referee, Clyde Walcott, found no evidence of ball-doctoring. Shepherd said that frequent inspections of the ball were made in the match.
Scoreboard, county reports, page 26
MARK RAMPRAKASH was dropped for disciplinary reasons by Middlesex yesterday, the second time this season he has incurred his county's displeasure. Ramprakash was apparently involved in an altercation with a spectator during Monday's match against Yorkshire. In April he was fined pounds 700 for abusing an opponent. Yesterday Ramprakash scored 111 for the second XI against Hampshire.
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