|Ground:||Kennington Oval, Kennington|
|Scorecard:||England v Pakistan|
|Event:||Pakistan in British Isles 2006|
DateLine: 30th September 2006
Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said Saturday he would not seek legal action against Australian umpire Darrell Hair after being cleared of ball tampering charges by the ICC.
"Our religion Islam teaches us to forgive and forget, so I forgive Hair and will not take any action against him," Inzamam said on return from London, where a two-day ICC hearing cleared him of ball tampering.
The 36-year-old captain was however handed a four-match ban for bringing the game into disrepute over his team's refusal to take the field in the fourth Test against England at The Oval last month.
The protest came after Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove of the West Indies penalised Pakistan five runs on suspicion of ball tampering.
The ban will keep Inzamam out of the eight-team biennial ICC (International Cricket Council) Champions Trophy competition which begins in India next month.
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday announced that Younis Khan would replace Inzamam as captain for the competition but extended Inzamam's tenure until next year's World Cup in the Caribbean.
Inzamam said he had nothing in his heart against the controversial Australian umpire.
"It will take time to forget what happened at The Oval but my heart is clear as always, and since we have been cleared of the more serious charge of ball tampering I think we should bury the matter," he said.
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan and other ex-players had urged Inzamam to seek an apology and take the Australian to court for defamation.
Inzamam justified the decision not to appeal against the ban.
"The penalty imposed is the minimum in level III so it would neither be reduced nor would it be lifted if I had appealed. So I see no reason to take the matter any further."
The batsman said the support from the Pakistani people was overwhelming.
"It was a tough period for not only me but for our cricket -- and I am thankful to all the people who supported me and our cause of getting our name cleared of tampering.
"A four-match ban is nothing compared to the stigma of cheating, which could have destroyed our cricket. Had I not protested we would have to live with the stigma. I am happy that we are cleared," said Inzamam.
He said he would also sorely miss the Champions Trophy competition.
"It's the second-best event after the World Cup and I will miss it. But I am convinced that the team can deliver its best. We have a very good chance of winning the Trophy," said Inzamam, who vowed to return with a bang.
"We have a home series against the West Indies, then a tour of South Africa and finally the World Cup, so I will conserve my energies for these future assignments -- especially the World Cup, which we dearly want to win."
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)