ICC Code of Conduct hearing August 23, 2006

Pakistan appoint top lawyer to defend Inzamam

Cricinfo staff

Inzamam-ul-Haq: the future of the tour depends on the outcome of his Code of Conduct hearing © Getty Images
Pakistan have appointed a top legal team from DLA Piper to represent Inzamam-ul-Haq at the ICC hearing in London this Friday.

The lawyers will be fronted by Mark Gay, a renowned sports lawyer who has made his name in high-profile cases including ones involving tennis player Greg Rusedski and footballer Rio Ferdinand.

The Daily Telegraph today claimed that Gay had been recommended to the Pakistan Cricket Board by Ehsan Mani, the former ICC president. However, the paper also warned that the appointment could cause further issues as the ICC might not allow him into the hearing. Under ICC regulations, Inzamam is allowed to bring with him his vice-captain and coach, but not his lawyers.

It is believed that negotiations were taking place with the ICC to allow this rule to be relaxed in view of the gravity of the charges, and it is also being reported that Pakistan might request a delay to allow them to prepare Inzamam's defence.

It also seems that contrary to reports circulating yesterday, Pakistan have decided to continue playing pending the hearing, meaning that Thursday's one-day warm-up against Middlesex at Uxbridge will go ahead as planned.

"I understand that the team will play the match," explained Zaheer Abbas, the team manager. "However, as for the one-day internationals against England next week, all depends on what happens at Friday's hearing. If Inzamam is cleared of ball tampering but found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, the one-day series will go on."

That view was backed by a report in The Guardian which quoted a senior source inside the Pakistan camp as saying that if the ICC hearing agreed with the umpires that there had been ball tampering then there was "no chance of the one-day series taking place".