England suspected Pak players of ball tampering

November 14th, 2007 - 8:09 am ICT by admin  
In extracts from his autobiography, published by the Daily Mail, Fletcher writes that the England coaching staff were, “interested in what the Pakistanis were doing with the ball.”

“We could not understand how they were able to get it to reverse swing so early in the innings. With the lush outfields it had been a problem for us. Using binoculars, we began examining the Pakistanis closely in the field because we thought we had picked something up,” he added.

Fletcher also expresses sympathy for Darrell Hair, the Australian umpire who penalised the Pakistanis for allegedly changing the condition of the ball.

The decision resulted in Pakistan forfeiting the match after they refused to come out to field after tea on the fourth day, but Hair also ended up a loser after being stripped of his status as a Test umpire.

Fletcher argued that Hair had been treated unfairly over a decision that had been jointly taken with his fellow umpire, the West Indian Billy Doctrove.

“Amid everything that happened on the day Pakistan refused to continue playing, I especially recall attending a meeting with Andrew Strauss, David Morgan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan’s manager) and Shaharyar Khan (PCB chairman). Interestingly, Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, was not there,” he writes.

“At this meeting Hair completely lost his temper. Inzamam, the Pakistan captain, asked him why his side was being accused. ‘You know what was going on out there,’ said Hair sternly and got up and left.”

During a hearing in London earlier this month, Hair dropped his claim and he has since begun work on a “rehabilitation” programme which could see him return to top-level umpiring next year, subject to clearance from the ICC.

Pakistan’s Cricket Board, however, has made it clear that they will oppose any ICC decision to sanction Hair’s return to centre stage, The News reported. (ANI)

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