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PCB plans to bring disrepute charge against Hair

02 October, 2006

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LONDON: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) may ask the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to pay damages up to $1.5 million for losses the ECB incurred because of the cancellation of the fifth day of the Oval Test. In the next few days the PCB was likely to receive formal notification from the ECB on this matter, The Sunday Times reported.

After Pakistan refused to come out of the dressing room to resume play following the tea interval on day four because of being penalised for unproven ball-tampering charges, the match was awarded to England.

The spectators who turned up for day four have been refunded 40% of their ticket price and those who bought tickets for the fifth day have been refunded the entire ticket amount by the ECB.

However, the Pakistan board feels that Darrell Hair, the umpire at the centre of the controversy, and not the PCB, is to blame for the abandonment of play at The Oval. "We consider it not our responsibility that this Test was abandoned in the way it was," Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman told The Sunday Times.

Given the cordial relations that exist between the two boards it is unlikely that either of them would risk confrontation on this issue. The PCB plans to ask the ICC that the charge of bringing the game to disrepute be brought upon Hair. This would make the ICC responsible for reimbursing the ECB on the losses suffered.

"The situation won’t be left as it is," said Waseem Khokhar, of the Pakistan board’s lawyers DLA Piper. "There is the strength and resolve to see that the right course of action is taken. There is an immense amount of hurt and sense of grievance."

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, was declared not guilty on ball-tampering charges, though he was penalised for bringing the game to disrepute and placed under an immediate ban of four one-day matches. He had also he would not seek legal action against Hair. "Our religion Islam teaches us to forgive and forget, so I forgive Hair and will not take any action against him," Inzamam told.

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