England and Wales versus Pakistan

Incredible scenes in the cricket today. Game abandoned in a row over alleged ball tampering by Pakistanis (easy now steamboatsam). Umpires allowed the English and Welsh batsmen choose a new ball and added 5 runs to their total after they noticed scuff marks on the ball after it started swinging all over the place this afternoon.

The Pakistanis played on until tea though the captain, Inzaman, and the other players were raging at the accusation. After tea they refused to come back on and lodged a protest by staying in their dressing room with the opposition batsmen and the umpires out in the middle. The umpires took the bails off and came back in. Pakistan were then persuaded to resume but the umpires played hardball then by insisting that under the rules of the game they had forfeited the match.

Crazy stuff altogether. Supporters, sponsors, broadcasters etc were not happy at all. There’s no actual TV footage of any of the Pakistanis doing anything untoward as far as I can gather so it appears harsh to be accused of cheating and going against the code of ethics of the game. The umpire Darrell Hair is a knob though but this one will run and run. With Pakistan having made 504 in reply to E&W’s 173 and haven taken 4 second innings wickets and with the lead still at 30 or 40 odd with E&W on 298-4 anybody who stuck a few quid on England and Wales to win in the betting in running would have made a small fortune!

Dunno where this is from, got it on the huddleboard there, If cricket’s good enough for Martin then it’s good enough for me.

Why Martin McGuinness is bowled over by cricket

By Claire McNeilly
16 August 2006

Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator Martin McGuinness has confessed to his secret love - cricket.

The Mid-Ulster MP, who was recently embroiled in a well-publicised ‘is he, isn’t he?’ British spy controversy, is certainly no stranger to sticky wickets.

Mr McGuinness (56), a father of four, grandfather of five and an avid fisherman, admits to having a keen interest in the quintessential British colonial game.

And lately he has been bowled over by the calibre of English players like Ashes-winning series star performer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff.

“What I found really interesting about the Ashes series last year is how Flintoff and (Kevin) Pietersen came to the fore as world-class players,” said the Assembly member.

“Flintoff is a brilliant sportsman and I was delighted to see him in Belfast a few months ago, practising his skills with the Antrim hurlers.”

Flintoff, currently injured but arguably the world’s most famous cricketer, tried his hand at hurling when he came to open a call centre in west Belfast back in April.

To his chagrin, however, Mr McGuinness missed his chance to meet the renowned batsman at Stormont when a prior business engagement dragged him off to the Basque country.

That commitment also bowled him out of an opportunity to see his first live - and in this case, historic - cricket match.

For the first time, his beloved Ireland and the Ashes-winning England did battle in a one-day encounter in the grounds of the suspended Assembly, watched by over 7,000 ardent supporters.

“I would like to have gone to the match,” he said.

"I was looking forward to meeting the Ireland and England players at Stormont and I had been really looking forward to meeting Flintoff.

“But in the end, he wasn’t there … and neither was I.”

But, just in case anyone thinks for a second that the hardline nationalist has slipped into all-rounder territory, he bowls a timely googly to confirm his allegiances.

"Last year, I was very interested in the Ashes because it appeared that, at long last, England had got themselves a decent team.

“But, given that I’m an Irish republican, my approach to foreign games is simple: I don’t mind them, as long as the foreign teams win.”

No guesses then for assuming that, in the absence of an Irish team in the ICU Test arena, he’s keen to slate the English?

“I like Sri Lanka, having been there, but I’m also a fan of both New Zealand and Australia, although my favourite team now is South Africa,” he admitted.

"If Ireland weren’t playing, I would like to see the South Africans win.

“It’s a society moving away from conflict and that means more opportunities are available.”

From BBC: Hair offered to resign for cash

Hair penalised Pakistan for ball-tampering on Sunday
Umpire Darrell Hair offered to quit in exchange for $500,000 (?266,000), the International Cricket Council has said.
The Australian, 53, made his offer in an e-mail to the game’s governing body after Sunday’s ball-tampering row which ended the fourth Test at The Oval.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed told a news conference in London that the umpire had been under great stress.

And he said he was satisfied Hair had not made the offer with any “dishonest, underhand or malicious intent”.

Speed added: “He was seeking to find a solution that was in the interests of the game.”

Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove penalised the tourists five runs and allowed England to choose a replacement ball after deciding that Pakistan had tampered with the one which had suddenly started reverse-swinging after 56 overs.

When Pakistan initially refused to re-emerge after tea in protest, the two officials ruled that they had forfeited the game.

Speed urged the media not to question Hair’s motives even though he himself was “extremely surprised by the content” of Hair’s e-mail on Tuesday to Doug Cowie, the ICC umpires and referees manager, in which he made his offer.

The ICC’s lawyers advised the organisation to disclose the contents of Hair’s message to the Pakistan Cricket Board as they were relevant to the disciplinary case brought against captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Having informed the PCB, Speed then felt compelled to make the documents public in case they were leaked anyway.

Hair is hoping to continue officiating, saying in a statement: "This correspondence was composed after a very difficult time and was revoked by myself two days later after a period of serious consideration.

"There was no malicious intent behind this communication with the ICC.

“I am anxious that the code of conduct hearing takes place as soon as possible so these matters can be resolved and allow me to move on with my umpiring.”

Pakistan complained about Hair’s performances earlier in the series but the Australian has denied being biased against Asian countries.

He famously reported Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for having a suspect bowling action in 1995.

Pakistan have already said they do not want him to umpire any of their games in the future.

And Speed refused to offer any assurances about his future in the game.

“Darrell Hair has been in a difficult position since Sunday and as a result of this disclosure that position has been made more difficult,” the ICC chief executive said.

"I have said to him that he is not sacked, he is not suspended, and he has not been charged.

“I also said to him that I didn’t guarantee that each of those three positions would be maintained indefinitely.”

Former England captain Mike Atherton can see no way back for him.

“Darrell Hair, after these extraordinary letters, finds himself under no charge whatsoever,” he said.

“It is hard to see how he can umpire at any future international match. They have made his position untenable now.”

Read that earlier but didn’t post as it appeared I was talking to myself on this thread! That is shocking. He is a cnut to the nth degree.

There is no possible alternative explanation for his offer other than he is a first class corrupt prick. What the fuck was there to give “serious consideration” to over the couple of days?

Any impact on the actual case for Pakistan do we know? Also is it just Inzaman under investigation? Does that mean that they’re blaming him as captain for the tampering? Or are they just charging him for not continuing with the match? Or do they think he personally interfered with the ball?

Per ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, the hearing “involves two simple cricket issues. Did the Pakistan team change the nature of the ball in an illegal manner under the laws of the game? Secondly, did the refusal by the Pakistan team to resume the match when directed to do so bring the game into disrepute?”

Since he refers to “the Pakistan team” in both cases, it seems that it would be an instance of Inzamam being responsible as captain for the actions of his entire team.

Also per the Beeb, "The disrepute charge, which the International Cricket Council views as more serious, could result in a ban of up to four Test matches or eight one-day internationals, if Inzamam is found guilty.

He has also been charged with a breach of Level 2.10 of the ICC’s code which relates to changing the condition of the ball. If Inzamam is found guilty of that allegation, it could cost him his entire match fee and result in a suspension of one Test or two one-day internationals.

If guilty of both charges, any bans would be served consecutively."

The irony is that both teams apparently wanted to play on after Pakistan’s 30-minute protest, but Hair allegedly refused to restart. Maybe he’s right under the rules, but he could have defused the situation greatly and not discommoded all the fans who had made arrangements to attend the 5th day.

Exactly. Sheer arrogance and self-importance on his part. There is also the question of racism too as I think that report also collates the controversial incidents he’s also been involved in with asian teams. He should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute also.