|Player:||Wasim Akram, DB Hair|
|Event:||Pakistan in British Isles 2006|
DateLine: 20th September 2006
Former cricket legend Wasim Akram Wednesday said Australian umpire Darrell Hair should also be penalised if Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is banned for his role in the Oval Test fiasco.
Inzamam is due to face an International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct hearing in London on September 27 and 28 and faces a possible ban on charges of ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.
"Hair has not only been a controversial umpire now but he has been controversial in the past as well, and I think he should also be penalised if Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is banned," Wasim told AFP.
Hair and Inzamam were embroiled in a major controversy during last month's fourth Test at The Oval after the umpires awarded England five penalty runs against Pakistan on suspicions of interfering with the ball.
Pakistan subsequently protested and refused to continue the match which was eventually awarded to England after a stalemate -- the first ever forfeit in Test cricket's 129-year history.
"It was an unnecessary stand-off at Oval and although Pakistan's protest was wrongly prolonged, Inzamam had led his team to the field and it was the umpires, especially Hair, who did not want to start the match," said Wasim.
"Why is only Inzamam appearing before the court and why is he only charged for bringing the game into disrepute?
"Hair should also face a hearing."
Wasim said Hair was rude and had previously called Pakistani players "monkeys".
"He (Hair) is a rude sort of person and in 1995 he called Pakistani players monkeys for continuously jumping in appeal and as a captain I took a strong notice of that and protested over it," said Wasim.
Since the Oval controversy the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has demanded that Hair should not stand in their team's future matches.
But reports from Australia Wednesday suggested Hair will return for next month's ICC Champions Trophy in India.
Wasim, who took 414 Test and a world record of 502 one-day wickets, urged the ICC to use more former players as umpires.
"Since Hair has not played cricket he doesn't understand players properly and if the ICC uses former players as umpires the game will benefit more and more," said Wasim.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)
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