April 9, 2001

Team fined heavily for slow over-rate at Hamilton

Pakistan cricketers were docked 75 per cent of their match fee for slow over-rate in the third and final Test against New Zealand at Hamilton last month.

Pakistan pacers bowled little over 50 overs in the two sessions of the opening day's play after their innings was terminated in 26 overs.

The fine was imposed by Sri Lankan match referee Ranjan Madugalle despite the fact that the match ended inside four days and consumed just 189 overs.

Pakistan lost the Test by an innings and 185 runs - their heaviest defeat on record.

Madugalle had also fined Pakistan 25 per cent of their match fee for a similar offence during a One-day International.

Team spokesman said the tourists were also fined on two other occasions for slow over rate but was unable to reveal more details.

On an another front during the tour, paceman Shoaib Akhtar was about to be called for throwing by umpire Doug Cowie during the fifth and final One-day International.

Cowie, who is now officiating matches in Sharjah, called Pakistan captain Moin Khan and vice-captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to inform them of his decision.

"But when Moin and Inzamam argued that Shoaib had been cleared by the ICC and if he called the pacer, it would lead to a big controversy, Cowie reversed his decision but later reported the matter to Madugalle," a team member, on the condition of anonymity, said.

The team management, after the match, was informed by Madugalle that he had reported the matter to the game's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The senior members of the Pakistan team also had a minor verbal confrontation with manager Fakir Aizazuddin after the second Test at Christchurch.

In the presence of team coach Javed Miandad, Aizazuddin told the players that the first Test victory at Auckland by 299 runs was a fluke.

"He further expressed his concern about the fitness of the players after a high scoring draw at Christchurch where 1,243 runs were scored.

"Naturally, the players and the coach got annoyed. But the matter was tackled by Miandad before it could reach out of control. The manager later apologized to the players."

Aizazuddin has been continuously denying submitting his tour report to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). But fact of the matter is that such comprehensive and well-documented is the `secret report', termed by the manager as `fake', that he has even mentioned the inefficiency of the liaison officer and how the players arrived at the ground for a match.

"..... during the first Test at Auckland, the players had to fo to the ground on taxis. I complained to the president of New Zealand Cricket Board, David Hoskin, personally about the poor travel arrangements and the non-cooperative attitude of Mr John Bishop, the liaison officer.

"He (David Hoskin) promised that it would not happen against as he said, it didn't happen on the rest of the tour."

The manager further reports that the accommodation provided by the hosts was "adequate and pretty decent except at Napier where the team had to stay at a motel."