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September 1, 2006
Sanjay Manjrekar, the former Indian batsman, has said that ball-tampering can be done without being caught on any of the numerous television cameras.
"I don't agree that no ball tampering can take place with so many TV cameras focusing on the match. It's still possible," said Manjrekar during a panel discussion. "Let's not give so much importance to TV cameras. You can have 50 cameras on the ground and still you won't be able to cover every corner of the field all the time."
Manjrekar, who is now a television commentator added that a cricketer would immediately realise with one look at a ball whether it had been tampered with.
However, he stressed that his comments should not be mixed with the ball-tampering dispute that led to the forfeiture of fourth Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval. "I don't say that had happened in the Oval match. There were two mistakes which led to the sorry ending. Number one was Hair's action. He's a fine umpire who is a bit robotic in his approach to the laws of the game. He could have handled the situation in a better way.
"The other mistake was committed by Pakistan. Inzamam should have been pulled out of the dressing-room by the administrative manager of the team and if he was still reluctant, Younis Khan, the vice-captain, should have been told to lead out the team."
Manjrekar cited the Melbourne Test between India and Australia in 1981 as an example of how the manager defused a potentially explosive situtation. In that match Sunil Gavaskar thought he had incorrectly been adjudged lbw and persuaded the non-striker Chetan Chauhan to walk off with him. However, the manager Wing Commander Durrani stopped Chauhan from leaving the field along with Gavaskar.
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