December 12, 2000

Fielders should be allowed to refuse play in poor light: Miandad

Karachi, Dec 11: Pakistan coach Javed Miandad on Monday evening admitted that he talked to match referee Ranjan Madugalle and conveyed his displeasure on the continuation of the game despite poor light.

"I talked to the match referee and asked him what the laws said in that situation. I was upset because my boys and the team had to suffer," Miandad said.

According to insiders, Miandad also had a hardhitting discussion with the umpires after the match finished at 5.55pm and resulted in a sixwicket victory for England.

Miandad, the former captain, said he would certainly mention the incident in his report and would also question why England refused the proposal of playing under lights.

"The batsman batting at 22 yards might not have the same problems the fielder standing 75 yards away. I mean the conditions were not equal to both teams.

"If England had accepted the proposal of playing under lights, this controversy had never erupted," Miandad said.

Pakistan's most successful batsman added that in Karachi, the latest the match had gone was 5.20pm while the game had ended in the upcountry by 4.15pm.

"If the light was not good to extend the match by 5.20pm on the other days, why it was taken into extra time today.

"I am not making any excuses. The better team won. But it hurts when you suffer.

"It is time that the game's governing body should give equal opportunity to the fielding side to refuse to play against bad light. Presently, only the batting side has the option to complain against poor light and in this case England rejected because things were going in their way. But what about us.

"The fielders were running in the opposite direction because they were following the calls of the fielders rather than judging the stroke played by the batters."

Miandad recalled that the umpires had refused to continue the match in one of the limited overs games at Gujranwala against Viv Richards' team. "I wanted to continue but the match was halted by the umpires who also awarded the game to West Indies."