Inzamam-ul-Haq-led Pakistan team forfeited a Test match against England at the Oval in 2006, the first in 1814 Tests, and 129 years of cricket. The decision by the former Pakistan skipper came after his team was accused of ball-tampering and penalised for the same.
Recalling the episode, after almost 15 years, Inzamam in a video on his YouTube channel “Inzamam-ul-Haq – The Match Winner” stated that he took the decision for his country.
The match, which ended with Inzamam refusing to lead his side back on to the pitch after tea following a decision to award England five penalty runs for alleged ball-tampering, was called as a forfeit in England’s favour.
The ball-tampering decision against Pakistan was taken by umpire Darrell Hair, whom Inzamam also accused of being a little biased against the Pakistan cricket team.
Speaking about the incident, Inzamam said: “He felt that the ball was tampered and awarded five runs to the opposition. And as per ICC rules, it meant we were proved guilty of doing it.”
“So I went up to Darrell Hair and asked him what exactly was wrong with the ball.”
“As per ICC rule the umpire informs a player if he’s guilty before awarding those five runs. However, I was not informed.”
“Then I decided that I cannot lead a team like this and waited 15-20 minutes to show everyone the entire team protested against the decision.”
“Hair too refused to come out in the field and continue with the match.”
However, Inzamam did hint that he would have continued with the match had the third umpire stepped up if Hair refused to continue further.
“I feel that if Hair refused the third umpire should have continued with the match from there. But the umpires are selected by ICC for their events, so ICC backed him,” Inzamam said.
The former Pakistan batsman also mentioned the incidents when Hair’s decisions had cost the match to the team. The
then Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman had also written to the International Cricket Council a month before requesting them not select Hair for the series.
“Pakistan team were not happy with Daryl Haer officiating the matches then. The board chief had then written to ICC to look into the matter, a month before the series. However, Harper was the umipre in two-three matches.”
“I feel if the chairman of the board is writing to you then you must listen to its complaint,” Inzamam said.
Pointing out the controversial incidents while Hair was officiating matches involving Pakistan, Inzamam said, “During a match against England in Faisalabad, his decision on Salman Butt and Younis Khan were very controversial.”
“He had also adjudged me out, when a fielder threw the ball towards me and I used my bat for protection in another game. Since I was not present in my crease at that moment he had given me out.”
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