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Woolmer apologises to fans as ICC considers new action in ball-tampering row
by AFP


Ground:Kennington Oval, Kennington
Player:Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 21st August 2006

 

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said Monday his team wanted to continue playing after they were deemed to have forfeited a Test against England and voiced his frustration at the way the row had been handled.

 

"We would like to say we are sorry to the British public that we are not playing cricket today -- we are prepared to play cricket today," Woolmer told Sky Sports News television the day after the match at The Oval in London was sensationally abandoned.

 

England were declared the winners after Pakistan were adjudged to have forfeited the fourth and final Test when they refused to take the field after the tea interval Sunday.

 

The tourists were incensed that they had been accused of ball tampering and penalised five runs.

 

"Unfortunately, circumstances yesterday were such that we deemed it necessary to make the protest, which we did, but we do apologise for not playing cricket," former England all-rounder Woolmer said.

 

"None of us would like this particular incident ever to happen again. The team feel perhaps that the whole incident might have been handled better from the word go.

 

"We discussed it at length. We had a short period over the tea interval to do so. We were advised by many people.

 

"The history of ball-tampering goes back with Pakistan in time when Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis) were first involved.

 

"Since then, there's been a radical change in trying to stop that and therefore they've taken it very personally."

 

Asked about Australian umpire Darrell Hair, who refused to rescind his decision taken alongside West Indies' Billy Doctrove to penalise Pakistan five runs, Woolmer said: "In view of the match referee's meeting due later, I'd rather not make any comment on that."

 

He added: "We're facing a level two breach of the code (the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct for for players and officials) so there are other things going to happen.

 

"In the long run, it's not good for cricket. However, a stand was made, it was made on principle and I wish the whole thing could be handled better."

 

Meanwhile ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said Monday that Pakistan could face further charges.

 

"The umpires are meeting this morning to consider whether there should be any further charges in relation to the refusal by Pakistan to take the field that resulted in the forfeit of the match," Speed told BBC Radio.

 

"It may be that there is more than one charge."

 

Having failed to appear for the session after tea, Pakistan again remained in the changing room when the umpires went out a second time 15 minutes later.

 

They then took the field but by then the umpires ruled that the match had been forfeited and, after several hours of deliberation, the game was awarded the game to England, whose victory meant they took the four-match series 3-0.

 

"The next step that will be taken will be that there will be a (ICC) disciplinary hearing to deal with the ball handling issues," Speed said.

 

"I'm not sure whether that will take place today (Monday) or whether it will be later in the week.

 

"There are other provisions under the code of conduct that would enable a charge to be laid for bringing the game into disrepute and that is being considered this morning.

 

"It would be directed at the captain (Inzamam-ul-Haq). The captain is responsible for the actions of the team, that's very clearly laid out in the laws of the game and it's one of the things that we try very hard to uphold.

 

"The ball tampering charge, that will be dealt with, and there is power there for the match referee to fine or ban the player there.

 

"Similarly, if other charges are laid, the player could face fines or if he is found guilty, he could face a fine or a ban."

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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