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    August 21, 2006

    Mr. Darrell wasn't wrong at all

    I absolutely don't get the point of why so many people blame Hair for yesterday's happenings at The Oval.

    I agree that the ICC should have done something to inform the spectators. But, it was completely Pakistan's/Inzamam's/PCB's mistake of staging the protest by sitting in. There should be a counter where you can register your protests and complaints. The way Pakistan did it was awfully stupid. I am surprised that it happened even with so many PCB supremos in the corridor. Even if the players get agitated at times, isn't the board answerable to the ICC? Even Shahryar Khan was blaming the umpire instead of asking his team to get out and play and he seemed to suggest that his team was out there waiting and the umpire didn't turn up. Probably, he was blind on the previous instance when his team was having a meeting instead of setting up field positions out there at the centre.

    Every team and every individual has their (un)fair share of decisions going against them. Yes, this was not just a decision going against Pakistan. But, given their history of cheating and not abiding to bowling degrees and rules, they have no right to feel hurt. They can't be hurt today as they didn't seem to be too hurt when one of their notorious team members deliberately damaged the pitch in the previous series against the same opposition and it was not even in a bowling action follow-through. Being religious is not an excuse for cheating - one may be very religious and pray five times a day and still cheat. We cannot be playing the game with saints and priests, Mr. Geoffrey. I thought even your mum could figure this out.

    I am shocked to read Inzamam saying that it was a matter of honour. This is the same captain who didn't even know the rules well when he played a defensive shot to a throw from a fielder at the stumps and later claimed that he was given out when he avoided a throw previously.

    I hope the ICC does something to ensure that teams just don't take this as a precedent and remain in the dressing room whenever something goes against them. Though I am not very happy about England winning the Test, by whatever means, I feel Pakistan deserved to lose this Test and even face some more punishment for the forfeiture. Teams and individuals have been fined and some players have missed matches due to over-appealing, in spite of being right. Captains have faced suspensions for not bowling overs in time. Batsmen have been fined for showing the bat after an inside-edged lbw decision. Hence, this definitely warrants harsher punishments. And any of you know of any rule that says the umpire should provide video evidence of ball-tampering?

    As for what apparently happened, it'll be very interesting to read the autobiographies of some of these players some years later, assuming they do touch upon yesterday's events. After all, Imran Khan said nothing about reverse swing and ball tampering techniques until he'd retired. We'd have a lovely Prisoner's dilemma like situation. If player A's autobiography says that player P was to blame, then player B's autobiography should also mention P's name. Otherwise we'll have to assume that the whole team was involved!

    And by the way, if Hair is biased against Pakistan, what about Bucknor's rulings against India?

    NB: I'm a qualified state-level umpire and I've umpired district-level games. I'm absolutely certain that Hair was not at fault. He went by the rule book twice - when hauling up Pakistan for altering the condition of the ball and by announcing that by not turning up post-tea, Pakistan had conceded the game.

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    38 sledge(s):

    How would you feel, as an umpire, if you ruled that a team had forfeited the match, and then they wander out on the pitch half an hour later, apparently ready to play? And then if they claimed that they were always willing to complete the match?

    By Anonymous Geoff (21-Aug-2006, 7:34:00 PM)  

    geoff: Another interesting point struck me just now when I read Woolmer's feeble excuse (It had been hit into the stands on numerous occasions by Kevin Pietersen. I didn't think there were any undue marks, but that is a personal opinion. Having asked my team I can concur with them there was probably just damage from concrete and whatever.)

    This is inspired by some of David Lloyd's investigative journalism on air yesterday. Looking at the ball-by-ball commentary history, Alastair Cook was lbw to Umar Gul off the 5th ball of the 52nd over (i.e. 51.5). When he was dismissed, the umpire(s) would have seen the ball, as is the norm. From that dismissal, till the over (after the 56th) when the ball was changed, there was just one boundary hit (last ball of the 53rd over, by Pietersen). It certainly doesn't seem from the comms that there was any other event which may have caused the condition of the ball to be significantly altered, or indeed that Pietersen's shot was hit so hard (despite his normal ability to do so) that it altered the condition of the ball.

    By Blogger Jagadish (21-Aug-2006, 7:41:00 PM)  

    as a cricket lover, i would shoot them.
    as an umpire, i would ensure that the match is awarded to the opponents (strictly as per law).

    By Blogger Ganesh (21-Aug-2006, 7:59:00 PM)  

    The umpire was within the law to both impose the 5 run penalty (plus change the ball) and declare Eng winners when Pak failed to turn up. So, Pak is a valid loser, since they chose to protest. PCB officials and Woolmer are making excuses to cover up this part, no doubt. And more so because if this is correct, then ICC rules would impose penalties on Inzy for violating ICC code, esp for the forfeiture.

    And yes, you are right, no video evidence is needed for the on-field umpire to declare ball tampering. However, there is no clear-cut definition of how the ICC officials conduct their disciplinary hearings around similar charges. Does that also need no evidence? Is the umpire's word enough even then? If not, then the ICC is in a fix. Since they wont have evidence, therefore cannot punish Inzy for that one. And that would mean the on-field decision of Hair would be perceived as biased, although within the laws of the game.

    And Jagadish, that 'investigation' by Lloyd is childish, at best. If Hair was acting on his bias, he would chose any appropriate time to implement his bias. His investigation is based on an 'assumption' that Hair acted rationally, and in an unbiased manner. And if we assume this, then there's hardly a need for any debate, isn't it?

    And btw..and an aside...while I agree that here Hair followed the laws of the game perfectly, does it really matter if he didn't? What did the ICC do when he did not follow the rules while giving Inzy runout at Faisalabad? And that too not in the 'heat of the moment' but after having enough time to think it through.

    By Blogger worma (21-Aug-2006, 8:03:00 PM)  

    Osman Samiuddin makes a lovely point.

    "It is tempting, as the feedback from our readers reveals, to accuse the umpires of bias, but by doing so, we run the risk of judging both by their past history. If we are to do that then we must also acknowledge that, historically, Pakistani bowlers have also been previously found guilty of ball tampering. To do either is wrong and the decision must be assessed in isolation."

    Perfectly put.

    By Blogger Jagadish (21-Aug-2006, 8:31:00 PM)  

    Atleast I am certainly not yet acquiting Pakistani team of the ball tampering charges. I am just hoping that the ICC resolves it clearly and openly for all to see. Am not sure if they'll do that, though.

    By Blogger worma (21-Aug-2006, 9:49:00 PM)  

    worma: you are terribly wrong if you expect clarity in anything from icc.

    By Blogger Ganesh (21-Aug-2006, 9:57:00 PM)  

    Thats just a highly optimistic hope..not a realistic expectation :-)

    By Blogger worma (21-Aug-2006, 10:07:00 PM)  

    worma: Welcome back! Haven't seen you around for a while! Actually, even if we assume that Hair was acting rationally, the question comes back to if he needed to issue a warning or notify Inzamam about the ball tampering issue. According to Law 42.3, the umpires didn't need to. All they're required to do is to change the ball (interestingly, the law says nothing about letting the batsmen pick the ball), inform the batsmen, award 5 penalty runs and inform the fielding captain about the tampering.

    I think the problem with the ICC is that it steps in only when there're issues like discipline, ball tampering etc. Like you say, it did nothing when Taufel and Hair got it wrong at Faisalabad. Instead, it relies on statistics like umpires getting 94% of their decisions right, and trying to experiment with three appeals etc. when the 94% includes the bloody obvious ones. I haven't seen a stat from the ICC which talks about what %age of marginal decisions are ruled correctly by the umpires.

    Inzy's really burning his bridges. He's been charged on two counts. Despite this, he's gone around giving interviews lambasting Hair. He's in some real trouble.

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Aug-2006, 12:04:00 AM)  

    jagz: inzy may not be in a lot of trouble as his board is stupidly backing him. if they persist with such talks, icc shud even ban pakistan for an year or so.

    one thing that still confuses me is that the icc act immediately and ban/fine players for excessive appealling which is absolutely nothing when compared to the dissent shown at the oval. please act fast, icc.

    By Blogger Ganesh (22-Aug-2006, 11:56:00 AM)  

    It depends, on if the PCB decides to appeal any penalty/ban that is imposed. A ban on Pakistan is unlikely though, you'll agree :)

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Aug-2006, 12:00:00 PM)  

    Jagadish: I think Inzy (or anyone else representing Pakistan) is not directly questioning Hair's umpiring (Shaharyar Khan even said Hair is a good umpire) they wont be charged on that one, I think. Anyway they did not really show dissent at that time, and went on with the game.

    Yes indeed, had the ICC responded to the bad/biased attitude of Hair, as well as his wrong umpiring, it *may* not have come to this. And this is a lesson they wouldn't have learnt even now.

    Frankly, what I think happened (putting various pieces together) is this:

    1) Prior to this test, the ECB had already raised the issue with the match officials to monitor Pakistan's handling of the ball during test. That made the umpires extra cautious

    2) Hair found the ball suspicious, and it was reverse swinging as well. He did not see anyone do anything with it. He did not find visible 'tampering' marks (no apparent human-made scratches)..just a scruffed up ball.

    3) Decided to change it without even dropping a hint to Inzy that this was coming (Rashid Latif says on earlier Eng tours umpires often informed Pak captains if they started feeling unhappy about the ball). I have a feeling that this practise of umpires talking to captains about the ball is not uncommon in cricket.

    4) Did not inform Inzy about the reason. Can also be due to the language barriers, but I feel due to Hair's attitude as well.

    5) Refused to deal humanly with the issue even later when Inzy asked about it during the break / sit-in

    None of this points any legal problems with his actions. But neither does it prove or disprove his first action. Its like the old times without t.v. replays. A player could have contested a decision..and even then there was no proof except the umpire's word. His word was considered final.

    And Ganesh, btw, Pakistan is not a be banned at will. ICC knows well enough that the issue may snowball beyond their control...if, lets say, BCCI backs PCB on this issue. Then what? SL board would obviously join in to show solidarity, and ofcourse they hate Hair too.

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2006, 12:49:00 PM)  

    worma: They're saying that Hair is racist and biased. They disagree with the umpires' ruling on the ball condition. Pakistan, and Inzamam in particular, can be charged under Level 1 (1.3 & 1.7) & Level 2 (2.1, 2.3, 2.8, 2.9) of the code of conduct for players. I think its unfair on Hair (rhymes!) to say that because he had a past history of riling Pakistan (and Sri Lanka). Like Osman Samiuddin said, Pakistan's history of ball-tampering also needs to be taken into account then! I think Hair is incompetent, rather than biased. Ditto with Bucknor.

    If the ECB, or indeed Fletcher, as is speculated, had started this whole business of monitoring Pakistan's handling of the ball, then it needs to be asked if they had transgressed their authority/limits. It is upto the umpires & match referee to keep tab on proceedings. The ECB, or indeed anyone else, including the PCB, has no business to warn match officials about potential tampering.

    Like I pointed out, there's nothing in the rules which requires an umpire to inform the captain about the reason _before_ changing the ball. I suppose Latif's comparison with earlier tours is a little off the mark. Ball tampering wasn't [probably] at that point in time included in the code of conduct or considered a serious enough offence to warrant fines/bans etc.

    Like I also pointed out, I fully expect the PCB, BCCI and SLC to gang up. The ultimate result will be that Inzy will get a ban for not more than 4 ODIs. While the ICC won't explicitly admit to it, Hair will be conveniently ignored for series involving Pakistan & Sri Lanka. That'll satisfy all parties.

    But I was wondering yesterday about what Pakistan's reaction would have been on Sunday had the series scoreline been 1-1 or 1-0 before the final match!

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Aug-2006, 2:22:00 PM)  

    The issue is not with Hair doing what he did in the letter of the law. This has more to do with the spirit of the law itself.

    Sure the umpire has the ability to award penalty runs, if he was *certain* that the opposing team was tampering with the ball. But, who could say, in the right *spirit* that the umpire can be absolutely certain ?

    You can say so, in the letter of the law, that the umpire saw the ball changed, and the fielding team was the only one doing the changing, and ergo, they are guilty.

    But, that is in complete contravention to the spirit of the law in particular, and the game, in general.

    Next time I hear the ICC talk about the “spirit of the game” when players appeal, sledge etc… who will respect them ? Everyone will point to the letter of the law and say, “We did no wrong”….

    It may sound implausible at this time, but the ICC can well find itself at the wrong end of a anti-discrimination lawsuit for either this ruling, or the next one it hands out in the name of “players upholding the spirit of the game”… I certainly hope it does… maybe it will knock some sense into the brain dead ICC.

    By Anonymous Krishi (22-Aug-2006, 2:32:00 PM)  

    krishi: The code of conduct was meant to bridge the letter & spirit of the law thingies. So players can't get away with sledging, over-appealing, time-wasting etc. since they'll be hauled up under the relevant codes/rules.

    While I'd love the ICC's code of conduct & its implementation to be challenged in court, I can't see it happening.

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Aug-2006, 3:16:00 PM)  

    jagadish: interesting point. had the score been 1-0 or 1-1...the furore would have been much bigger. Probably a call for a re-match. Pak is already calling for the match to be declared void.

    Hair, as with Bucknor, may only be incompetent and not really biased (I don't really know) but is definitely rude. If what Inzy is saying (and Woolmer confirming) about his behaviour and treatment of the opposition captain is true, then he is most definitely rude and unfit for the post. ICC umpires are not there just to impliment the rules. If that was the case, why would the ICC defend the 'human' element so much? Can't we just have a machine programmed with the rules? :-)

    Latif made that comment in context of his tour in 90s (1996?) and 2001. I think in 2001 they were pretty serious about the code of conduct? In any case, the on field umpire acted not to enforce the code, but rather to inform the captain that he was not happy, and may need to use the cricketing rule (of penalty and ball change) if things go uncontrolled.

    Anyway, thats the human aspect...umpires should explain their moves..and esp to the captain...this is, as Krishi said above, in the 'spirit of the game' as ICC publicizes. Even when he decided to change the ball, Inzy had to actually ask him before he responded to the reason. He didn't hand over the ball to Inzy for inspection either...until Inzy insisted. Ofcourse I am relying on one side of the story...since the other side is not ever going to be made available by the ICC. And if they don't have something to hide, they would be the loser if they dont make it public.

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2006, 3:31:00 PM)  

    And btw...Inzy has also asked the friday hearing to be made public...and Pakistani camp has (as I heard on BBC, probably unofficial quotes, no print evidence) asked for the replaced ball to be made open for public display.

    The ICC, with its secrecy, risks losing the sympathy, and even its credibility, with every passing day.

    I would also wonder, if the Pakistani team had issues to hide - issues like the fact that they really forfeited the match (and later relented to officials attempts) and were not making a token protest gesture as they are now claiming...or the issue that they also feel that the ball shows enough evidence that can be construed as humanly altered - then why are they making such calls for transparency. Aren't they setting themselves up for a bigger humiliation (after being called cheats, and possibly being officially punished for it as well) if they have grounds to fear that uncomfortable facts would be revealed in the ICC hearing?

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2006, 3:36:00 PM)  

    I don't see how anyone can complain if Fletcher did raise any concerns over the way the umpires monitored the ball. It's surely well within the rights of the team and the team management to raise this sort of issue - although there's obviously a number of ways this can be done. I would have no problem if an opposition team did the same regarding England. There's no problem with asking the umpires toensure that the law is enforced.

    krishi: you can't hide behind certainty. Umpires have to use their judgement all the time. Catches are disputed, leg-before dismissals, even the legality of bowling actions. I honestly have no idea how you can say that, if the state of the ball has appreciably changed, and there's no other explanation to hand, that the fielding side should get away with it. It's not impossible - even with the fabled 26 cameras, many of which are surely useless for this purpose - to hide this sort of action from the umpire.

    Last season, no Surrey player was ever found guilty of ball tampering. The team was. Their opponents, Nottinghamshire, were awarded the five runs, and Surrey were given an eight point penalty. Surrey went down that year, and they even apologised although the player was never identified. Was that umpire biased, or working against the spirit of the game?

    By Anonymous Geoff (22-Aug-2006, 3:42:00 PM)  

    Darrell Hair is in a no-win situation, worma. If he does speak, then he risks being reprimanded by the ICC and stirring up more controversy (as surely he doesn't agree with Inzy's perspective). This would be especially bad just before the hearing. The Pakistani players and management are of course free to say their part, and indeed should do so. But the ICC really shouldn't offer any particular opinions until the hearing is over.

    By Anonymous Geoff (22-Aug-2006, 3:46:00 PM)  

    geoff: Yes I dont expect Hair to talk at this stage. But the ICC can, and must. Even after the Friday hearing, atleast they should come out with the full explanation of the proceedings, and what was finally understood and agreed by each party, rather than just the official decision of the hearing (which I suspect they would)

    Btw, Fletcher raising concern was no big deal. Am sure this happens in every second series (even Aussies raised concern about the English use of substitute in last Ashes). However, if that had an influence on the officials and Hair in particular being over-strict - i.e. suspect the Pakistani players more despite not catching anything wrong..leading to acting in a stricter-than-normal manner i.e. punish without really being sure - then he was wrong. So Fletcher's visit in important in context of Hair's actions, not wrong per se.

    Yes I am aware of the Surrey case (it was Mohammad Akram, wasn't it?)..and I am sure it was not same? I did not follow the media reports and bits of insider information coming out at that time...please fill in if you did. But that fact that Surrey did apologise later points to the fact that the proof of misdeeds were pretty well evident (despite not knowing the culprit) on the ball as well as how the ball behaved since then.

    As to the umpire in this case...did he not warn the Surrey captain beforehand of the step he was going to take? Did he refuse to communicate with the captain? Did he refuse to even hand over the ball for his inspection? Did this whole incident come 'out of the blue' for surrey with no official indications of the fact that their conduct was under stricter supervision?

    Its all of this that constitutes the spirit of the game, IMHO.

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2006, 4:14:00 PM)  

    I agree that there needs to be some transparency. The match ball on show, perhaps? I think Inzy's demand for a public hearing is never going to be translated into reality.

    worma, that's what I was about to get to. If the officials act purely on the basis of a tip-off, then it is incorrect, and could perhaps even be construed as being influenced by whoever tipped them off. According to the laws of the game, there was nothing wrong with what England did in terms of substitutes. Yes, it contravened the spirit of the game, but again, not the code of conduct. So unless substitute usage is included in the code of conduct or the laws of the game, there was nothing wrong with what England did. In contrast, altering the condition of the ball contravenes a specific law in the rule book. Not turning up for play contravenes another. Publicly saying that Hair is biased contravenes the code of conduct.

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Aug-2006, 4:24:00 PM)  

    "Publicly saying that Hair is biased contravenes the code of conduct" - which code? :)

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2006, 4:27:00 PM)  

    Do you expect the ICC to talk now, or after the hearing? Like I said, I certainly don't think they should say anything now, as they've not completed their own process! After the hearing, it should be made public.

    The Surrey player was never identified, although the rumours were that it was Akram - incidentally, a Pakistani who did similar while at Sussex. You're right, though, the umpires did inform Surrey at least once.

    The code of conduct breached is presumably 1.7 - 'Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match related incident or match official.' Unless being biased is OK by Pakistan, in which case I'm not sure what the complaint is about.

    By Anonymous Geoff (22-Aug-2006, 4:41:00 PM)  

    geoff: yes maybe after the hearing....but the ICC should definitely release more than the final judgment of the hearing.

    Umm...yes about the criticism of Hair...maybe they are in dangerous waters...but they are also saying simultaneously that they think Hair is a good umpire (which is his role as the ICC official) but that the players are not happy with his attitude. And Inzamam is mostly speaking out the incidents as they occured.

    Still, in some other time in a different context, similar statements would have attracted censure from the ICC. Recent situation being messy enough (to the point that it is even likely that an ICC official, Procter, aided the Pakistani's in their violation of ICC code through discussion and generally consuming their time rather than just giving them a single instruction - go out and play or else you lose the match) the ICC would probably not make heavy weather of the statements coming from Pak camp

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2006, 5:35:00 PM)  

    Btw..there's a possibility that Hair failed to apply the forfeiture law correctly!

    By Blogger worma (22-Aug-2006, 5:40:00 PM)  

    Noted the interesting bit about "spirit" vs "laws".

    The codification of social conventions (ie taboos) into laws with explicit punishments has the effect of actually increasing violations. Violations of the "spirit" are "unthinkable" because the severity of the offence cannot be measured in tangible terms. But breaking laws is always measurable in terms of punishments (late payment fees in the library or match suspensions). Once you are ready to pay the price, then violation comes easy. Worse, if some people can get away with violation of the law, because say, the Head of State weighs in in favour of the violator, violations become even more common.

    However counterintuitive it may seem, there is a good case, therefore, to retain some social conventions as taboos, not laws.

    By Anonymous Nitin (22-Aug-2006, 7:43:00 PM)  

    worma: Clauses 1.7 _and_ 2.3 (2.3 being a Level 2 offence) clearly state that [serious] public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match related incident/official is not on. Pakistan are very effectively doing a "But Darrell Hair is an honourable man" act when they say that Hair's umpiring is ok, but he's racist/biased/whatever.

    As for the match awarding clause, the question will be whether Law 21.3 (a) has to be read in conjunction with Law 21.3 (b) or not. If it isn't in conjuncion, and an 'either-or' case, then the umpires were right. If it is '(a) and (b)' then the umpires are wrong.

    nitin: Whoah! What're you doing on a cricket blog? ;) But yes, valid point on how codes actually make law breaking easier. Musharraf though is the chief patron of the PCB. So in a sense, he does have the authority to enter the frame.

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Aug-2006, 9:47:00 PM)  

    Hair has given a statement to Brisbane's Courier-Mail. Are umpires allowed to speak while players are not?

    By Anonymous pamthree (22-Aug-2006, 10:42:00 PM)  

    Hmm. Read it just now. Hair should definitely be pulled up, especially if Inzy is. The code of conduct for umpires makes it clear that umpires can't say things which are detrimental to cricket [in general], detrimental to specific series [regardless of whether the umpire is involved in that series] and detrimental to the board of any country. So it'd be a matter of semantics about whether Hair did bring cricket/the series into disrepute by talking about fighting it out, or [perhaps more realistically] if his statement "If other people have issues they want to use to force me out it will be an interesting battle." could be interpreted as one against the PCB, in which case he would be charged under the code.

    But I find it interesting that umpires can be pulled up by an ICC committee only if the issue is related to betting/match-fixing. In other situations, the home board is responsible for the investigation.

    By Blogger Jagadish (23-Aug-2006, 12:38:00 AM)  

    LOL jagadish....that reference to Mark Anotony was apt :-))

    Yes Hair is also bordering on dangerous territory with his recent statement...but no more so than Pakistan camp as you have earlier pointed out. As I said, the ICC already has its plate full in this matter...probably would let these issues go...

    By Blogger worma (23-Aug-2006, 1:35:00 AM)  

    Just saw this - BCCI doesn't seem too keen to support PCB. I'm sure there're a lot of commercial reasons behind this!

    By Blogger Jagadish (23-Aug-2006, 2:16:00 AM)  

    Shah is the least reliable of the multiple, and often disharmonious, voices emanating from the BCCI at any given time. Often his views are contradicted by Pawar too. I am pretty sure BCCI has not yet given this matter a very serious thought, or atleast if they had, it may have been at Pawar(and Modi) level...interacting with Shaharyar Khan for him to gauge the general direction of the wind, in order for him to decide how strong an anti-ICC stand he can take in coming days.

    And btw...even if BCCI power bosses had decided, and even conveyed to Shah of that decision, I don't think they would have yet thought of disclosing their cards. Those are for times when its really only when things come to a point where one has to pick and chose ones affiliations..take sides. Not yet.

    In essence - the Shah statement is of zero value, IMHO

    By Blogger worma (23-Aug-2006, 2:35:00 AM)  

    Why is Darrell Hair copping the brunt of this? Billy Doctrove was out there too. There are 2 umpires out there and they act in consultation with each other. Hair is being targetted because of his history and in the hope that the Asian nations will support Pakistan on this issue.

    As people have already said, you cannot let a cricket team set a precedent like this and not punish them. I agree with the umpires and ICC's handling of the situation and Pakistan have to cop it on the chin.

    On the other hand though, I am not saying Pakistan have cheated and doctored the ball....there is no conclusive proof of that but the umpires have to use their judgement as is part of the game of cricket. I believe they made the right calls in the circumstances.

    By Blogger Kurt Rudder (23-Aug-2006, 1:27:00 PM)  

    worma: Damn. But I was really hoping the BCCI would be sane enough to not side with the PCB on this issue. It doesn't concern the BCCI at all. Ganesh has this nagging feeling that Madugalle's sudden illness is an outcome of an understanding with SLC which will ensure that Pak have time for their defence, play the one-dayers and simultaneously build up support by asking for ball-tampering to be legalized etc. Even assuming that ball-tampering should be legalized to make it tougher for batsmen, it cannot have a retrospective effect and more importantly, shouldn't be done just because an accused/aggrieved party wants to get away scot free.

    kurt: Yes. I am not ruling out Doctrove's part in this issue. Which is why I've frequently referred in my posts/comments to 'the umpires' rather than 'Darrell Hair'. The poll on the right hand navbar also has an option to vote for Doctrove :) The Times has a fascinating op-ed on this issue.

    By Blogger Jagadish (23-Aug-2006, 3:12:00 PM)  

    jagadish: I made a point about Madugalle and the postponement on your other post.

    About BCCI taking sides, well its not going to be straightforward. They would probably look for the 'best deal' out of is usual of them nowadays :-) In my opinion, though, their initial reaction, when asked to make a serious call on it, would be to side with PCB...and this would happen only in the extreme case of Inzy being fined for tampering, leading to them boycotting (if it happens before this series) which further leads to their being penalised and possibly suspended by the ICC. Long way yet..

    kurt: If you read the reports carefully, they indicate that during those minutes/hours of intense backroom negotiation around the tea-break....Malcom Speed had made two phone calls to Hair to try and persuade him to back down on his decision, and ultimately failed. Wonder why he didn't call up Doctrove?? The report also mentions that 'all were in agreement that the match should continue, except Hair'.

    Ofcourse such reports are unconfirmed, since ICC would not make an official statement (except that 'we are behind are officials in their decisions..'). The people from Pak camp involved in these negotiations also pointed out the same...that the referee and other officials managed to convince every one, except Hair, that continuing the game was in the best interest of everybody.

    These are the kind of things I am hoping would come out in the clear after the ICC disciplinary hearing. An official version of 'what happend..', 'who said what..' and 'who did what, and when..' along with the final results. But, as I wrote earlier, I'm not really expecting ICC to come out so clean and end all speculations.

    By Blogger worma (23-Aug-2006, 6:02:00 PM)  

    I'm sure there's a quid-pro-quo. It could be "I'll side with you, and not the PCB. But you'll have to let me make my own commercial deals." or "You make sure Harbhajan isn't ever called again, and I'll side with you."

    By Blogger Jagadish (23-Aug-2006, 6:39:00 PM)  

    :-))...or simply 'you owe me one' kind of deal ;-)

    By Blogger worma (23-Aug-2006, 6:49:00 PM)  

    We at TAFHCA [] had anticipated a catastrophic tour for Pakistan at the onset of this summer when they refused to believe in our observation that taking extensive haircuts before away tours invariably cause performnce dips [read link]

    By Blogger angshu (24-Aug-2006, 6:39:00 PM)  

    We'd prefer if you posted comments with your real name to add more credibility to your opinions. However, the moderators reserve the right to delete comments, especially those containing offensive or unsuitable language. The opinions in the comments are your own views. You are welcome to provide a URL to your own cricket blog, but the moderators reserve the right to delete comments which only reference sites for viewing live streams.

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