|Ground:||Kennington Oval, Kennington|
|Scorecard:||England v Pakistan|
|Player:||Inzamam-ul-Haq, DB Hair|
|Event:||Pakistan in British Isles 2006|
DateLine: 19th October 2006
Pakistani cricket chiefs will refuse to pay England any compensation for this summer's Oval Test fiasco because they say Australian umpire Darrell Hair was to blame.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf made the declaration after English cricket authorities set an October 31 deadline for payment of what they say are losses of 800,000 pounds from the controversy.
"Hair was the main villain of the whole controversy," Ashraf told AFP.
"We have solid grounds that it was a cause-and-effect case -- and the root cause was Hair."
Hair, 53, and West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove accused Pakistan of ball-tampering on the fourth day of the fourth Test at the Oval against England in August, subsequently awarding five penalty runs to England.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq continued to play for another 45 minutes but his side refused to take the field after tea, forcing the two umpires to award the match to England.
It was the first forfeit in Test cricket's 129-year history.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) complained that it had to give a 40 percent refund to spectators who attended the fourth day's play, while those who had tickets for day five had to get all their money back.
"The ball is back in Pakistan's court. If there isn't an obvious resolution it can be referred to the ICC's (International Cricket Council) panel," ECB chief executive David Collier was quoted as saying earlier this week.
Ashraf said the PCB had officially rejected the compensation claim in a letter last week and he vowed that the fight against the claim would continue -- as would Pakistan's battle to keep umpire Hair out of their future matches.
"Pakistan is making a strong case and we will send a letter to the ICC, hopefully by Friday, to not appoint Hair in any of our future matches and also contesting the compensation issue raised by the ECB," Ashraf said late Wednesday.
Ashraf, who was at the Oval when the controversy unfolded, took over as PCB chief two weeks ago after Shaharyar Khan resigned due to the Oval debacle and other recent incidents.
He said Pakistan had been ready to play despite staying off for a few minutes at tea.
"ECB chief David Morgan would agree that we wanted to take the field but it was Hair who was adamant," he said.
"When Hair removed the bails I feared he had taken a final decision and I prevailed over Inzamam to return to the field even without the umpires."
An ICC hearing last month cleared Inzamam of ball-tampering charges but banned him for four one-day internationals for bringing the game into disrepute.
Khan quit on October 6 after Younis Khan caused further chaos by publicly declining to be a "dummy captain" in place of Inzamam. Ashraf then reinstated Younis.
In the latest controversy to hit Pakistan cricket, fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were sent home from the Champions Trophy in India on Monday after testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, and are set to face a PCB disciplinary tribunal next week.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)