July 6, 2008

ICC out of control

The game's governing body has surpassed itself with its moves over Zimbabwe and the Oval Test forfeiture
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United they politick: the ICC board at the Dubai conference © AFP

The ICC must believe it's possible to fool all of the people all of the time judging by their outlandish performance at the latest executive board meeting.

When Zimbabwe arrived for the ICC meeting, their two priorities would have been to retain their elite status vote and keep their full share of the ICC monies. Amazingly for a cricket body that has been under a cloud for the way it has administered the game and handled finances, Zimbabwe Cricket extracted exactly those promises from the meeting, and in addition they don't have to perform to get paid.

The ICC, or at least the Zimbabwe apologists among the board members, said before the meeting the objective was to keep the game alive in a country that has been raped and pillaged by a rogue president (though those last were not the words they used). The ICC's sentiment is laudable, but for some time now the problem has been the serious question mark over the way ZC has been distributing the funds allocated to it.

A recent independent audit indicated possible shady dealings by ZC, and reports filed by visiting journalists suggest the game's infrastructure has been neglected by local officials. Consequently, the statement by the ZC chairman, Peter Chingoka, "We have decided to pull out [of the Twenty20 World Cup] in the larger interests of the game," rings pretty hollow. More like they pulled out of the tournament to keep everyone happy on a board renowned for its politicking and power-broking, and in return ZC retained all its perks.

Ironically, the best way for Zimbabwe to recover its cricketing credibility is via the Twenty20 game. There is no way their standard of play is good enough for either Test or 50-over international cricket, but in last year's World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa they had a meritorious victory over Australia.

Still, it appears Zimbabwe won't go short of cricket in the future. Following the meeting Chingoka flaunted ZC's windfall when, after explaining the ICC decision only pertained to the tournament in England, he said, "We are now looking forward to more tours and international cricket with our Asian friends, especially India." And it sounds like he won't have any trouble gaining "official" status for those matches in return for his extremely tainted vote at the ICC.

As if the Zimbabwe charade wasn't enough for one meeting, the ICC excelled itself by also declaring the England victory over Pakistan at The Oval in 2006 has now been deemed a draw instead of a forfeit. After almost two years of acrimonious debate and legal posturing, the ICC executives declared that "in light of the unique set of circumstances the original result was felt to be inappropriate".

 
 
No matter how Pakistan feels they were wronged at The Oval - and there is some sympathy for them regarding the way the on-field matter was handled - there is no more appropriate punishment for a team that refuses to play on than to have the match awarded to their opponents
 

No matter in what way Pakistan feels they were wronged at The Oval - and there is some sympathy for them regarding the way the on-field matter was handled - there is no more appropriate punishment for a team that refuses to play on than to have the match awarded to their opponents.

Throughout the 129 years of Test cricket prior to the Oval, many teams have been wronged. And many more were angered over the way matters conspired to harm their chances of victory, but none ever refused to play on. In the end common sense always prevailed - until all sanity flew out of the Pakistan dressing room window at The Oval and they refused to play on. A forfeit was the only conclusion to be drawn from Pakistan's actions that day and only the ICC could come to any other decision.

The ICC's structure means it often doesn't react quickly to issues, and smouldering embers regularly turn into raging bushfires. The structure also encourages board executives to think of their country first and the game last and consequently the ICC has had a number of ignominious days in its chequered history. However, this latest meeting surpassed all their previous efforts and it now seems as though the only ones they are fooling is themselves.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 23:55 GMT

    The_Wog, you're absolutely right! Miandad was out LBW more times in Pakistan than I thought. He played his first Test (vs NZ) in October 1976 and his last Test (vs Zimbabwe) in December 1993, beginning and ending his career at home in Pakistan. In 17 years of home Tests he was out LBW on eight (8) occasions. In his final series (vs Zim) he was out twice in this way. Brandes got him in Karachi (1st Test) and Brain got him in the 3rd at Lahore (the only time at Lahore). Of course, I'm not sure if this last one was a Test or a social game against the Thunderbirds. The first bowler to get lucky was Ratnayeke (Sri Lanka) at Sialkot in October 1985, a gap of nine (9) years since his debut. At the end he had clearly lost it. Out four (4) times LBW from November 1989 to the end in 1993. The subsequent successful bowlers were de Mel (SL, same series as "Rat"), Emburey (E), Reid (A), Pabhakar (Ind), Morrison (NZ) and, of course Brandes and Brain (Zim). As you suggested, I looked it up!

  • GavinT on July 8, 2008, 21:31 GMT

    ICC have shown they are unfit to run cricket.

    ICC's action in overruling the result of the England-Pakistan test sets a dangerous precedent and strikes me as illegal. What happens next time a team refuses to play on because they dispute an umpire's decision? Will the ICC cave into them?

    The laws of cricket seem very clear:

    21.3(a) A match shall be lost by a side which... (ii) in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play and the umpires shall award the match to the other side. 21.10 Once the umpires have agreed with the scorers the correctness of the scores at the conclusion of the match...the result cannot thereafter be changed

    So the result is not subject to review by the ICC or anybody else.

    Don't think Hair was right in his original ball tampering decision and don't think he should be umpiring at this level at all now, but he dealt with the refusal to play correctly and had no other option.

  • HipHipHurray on July 8, 2008, 18:45 GMT

    Jenkins Do you mean to say that sledging other players about their wives is ok but not McGrath about his wife? I mean what is the rationale you trying to give here.

    Best

  • PottedLambShanks on July 8, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    I have to say, I look forward to the day when the non-Asian teams leave behind the Asian ones and their facile, bickering, clueless fans. The sooner the teams who want to play by the rules leave behind the likes of Pakistan, the better. Hands up if you will miss discussing "cricket" with the generally vicious and unpleasant Pakistan fans? *points both hands firmly downwards!*

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 12:40 GMT

    Sorcerer, see we do have something in common. A shared view of the merits of Inzy. He won't be missed. Anyone who noticed his selfish, appalling lack of team spirit during the World XI match in Sydney a couple of years ago would agree with you. He didn't bother the bowlers too much I can tell you, it looked like he wasn't interested. As for Greg Matthews you've got me there. Didn't see it and can't remember it. Mind you, if an umpire gave me out when a bowler held me back he'd have to wait a minute or two for me to extract the bat from the bowler's head. And I wouldn't expect to see him umpiring again any time soon either. I'm assuming a tangle as the two collided. Matthews is many things but a cheat is not one of them. In fact he has strong views on the traditions of the game although I'm sure he pushed at the boundaries occasionally. He played hard and did not lack confidence.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    Jenkins...ICC cleared Pak of ball-tampering and you had experts even from England who testified against "Hair" judgment. There was not an iota of evidence to support the outrageous act of Hair in calling Pak as cheats and he copped it big time as a result. Regarding Inzy, I agree he was an atrocious skipper and a dumb dictator too who was treated rightly in the end as he was thrown out of the team despite pleading "for a few more years" on TV shows and interviews post the last WC debacle. If anything that was a result and just desserts for him for he exercised sham piety and was a rank hypocrite and tempestuous individual. The fact that he had been punished by Pak's match-fixing inquiry commission some years ago should have obviated appointing such a shady character as the skipper of Pak in the first place! Anyhow, he is gone now and not fit even to commentate on TV with his hilarious style of rambling incoherent chat.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 10:32 GMT

    Jenkins...I remember another amusing incident - this time involving Greg Matthews and Mudasser Nazar in an ODI in Sharjah in mid 80s. The bowler stopped the batsman from completing a run literally holding him by the shirt resulting in a run-out, and was merely all smiles when the batsman protested as he had to leave. Those were the days of no minimal cricket coverage and outrageous acts of transgression mainly from Aussie cricketers. It did not affect the result though of the match as Pak were cantering to victory.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    Well, it's moot whether Sikander following through too early can be construed as cheating or not, but the norms of warning by the bowler are definitely there, and I believe still practiced. Regarding McGrath's acts of provocation, really he himself was to blame for all that he had to endure. Once you start calling opposition batsmen as faggots, you really do not deserve any mercy. What the Asian teams of 70s and 80s had to put up with on a tour Downunder - utter abuse bordering on racial tinges too on occasions, it is not surprising now how they refuse to brook any nonsense given the days have arrived when Asian cricket muscle and clout is much bigger than those of other nations.

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 10:22 GMT

    Sorcerer, may I now address the issue of the "official" clearance after (your words) an exhaustive investigation. This would be the same ICC which just cleared Zimbabwe of any ....... well, you know what I mean. I'm not sure we can actually trust the ICC to put the rubbish out let alone uncover any wrong doings by it's favored sons. What I don't understand is why India goes to so much trouble to protect Pakistan given the history. Pakistan must have some very interesting photographs is all I can imagine. How did Inzy ever become captain anyhow? That was the real mistake.

  • The_Wog on July 8, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    A bunch of people that seem to only ever watch one team. Sure, Hair has had problems with Asian teams. He's also had problems with AUS, NZ, RSA, ENG, ZIM (Flower) and WI. After 300 matches, you're going to. Umpires favor AUS?? Worst umpiring of the IND series was Rauf in Perth, and remember Dar in the Ashes series? (Martyn does!) No team but PAK has ever been accused of ball tampering? Tell that to Denness and Tendulkar. Chappell's never criticized Hair? He's pro-Murali! And calling chuckers from the bowlers end is the only way it can be done (either that or from the striker's position, which would presumably have got Hair more criticism). The MCC could have, but didn't, take that power away from the BEU. Oh, and Miandad was out LBW in PAK a lot more times than people thing - look it up.

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 23:55 GMT

    The_Wog, you're absolutely right! Miandad was out LBW more times in Pakistan than I thought. He played his first Test (vs NZ) in October 1976 and his last Test (vs Zimbabwe) in December 1993, beginning and ending his career at home in Pakistan. In 17 years of home Tests he was out LBW on eight (8) occasions. In his final series (vs Zim) he was out twice in this way. Brandes got him in Karachi (1st Test) and Brain got him in the 3rd at Lahore (the only time at Lahore). Of course, I'm not sure if this last one was a Test or a social game against the Thunderbirds. The first bowler to get lucky was Ratnayeke (Sri Lanka) at Sialkot in October 1985, a gap of nine (9) years since his debut. At the end he had clearly lost it. Out four (4) times LBW from November 1989 to the end in 1993. The subsequent successful bowlers were de Mel (SL, same series as "Rat"), Emburey (E), Reid (A), Pabhakar (Ind), Morrison (NZ) and, of course Brandes and Brain (Zim). As you suggested, I looked it up!

  • GavinT on July 8, 2008, 21:31 GMT

    ICC have shown they are unfit to run cricket.

    ICC's action in overruling the result of the England-Pakistan test sets a dangerous precedent and strikes me as illegal. What happens next time a team refuses to play on because they dispute an umpire's decision? Will the ICC cave into them?

    The laws of cricket seem very clear:

    21.3(a) A match shall be lost by a side which... (ii) in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play and the umpires shall award the match to the other side. 21.10 Once the umpires have agreed with the scorers the correctness of the scores at the conclusion of the match...the result cannot thereafter be changed

    So the result is not subject to review by the ICC or anybody else.

    Don't think Hair was right in his original ball tampering decision and don't think he should be umpiring at this level at all now, but he dealt with the refusal to play correctly and had no other option.

  • HipHipHurray on July 8, 2008, 18:45 GMT

    Jenkins Do you mean to say that sledging other players about their wives is ok but not McGrath about his wife? I mean what is the rationale you trying to give here.

    Best

  • PottedLambShanks on July 8, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    I have to say, I look forward to the day when the non-Asian teams leave behind the Asian ones and their facile, bickering, clueless fans. The sooner the teams who want to play by the rules leave behind the likes of Pakistan, the better. Hands up if you will miss discussing "cricket" with the generally vicious and unpleasant Pakistan fans? *points both hands firmly downwards!*

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 12:40 GMT

    Sorcerer, see we do have something in common. A shared view of the merits of Inzy. He won't be missed. Anyone who noticed his selfish, appalling lack of team spirit during the World XI match in Sydney a couple of years ago would agree with you. He didn't bother the bowlers too much I can tell you, it looked like he wasn't interested. As for Greg Matthews you've got me there. Didn't see it and can't remember it. Mind you, if an umpire gave me out when a bowler held me back he'd have to wait a minute or two for me to extract the bat from the bowler's head. And I wouldn't expect to see him umpiring again any time soon either. I'm assuming a tangle as the two collided. Matthews is many things but a cheat is not one of them. In fact he has strong views on the traditions of the game although I'm sure he pushed at the boundaries occasionally. He played hard and did not lack confidence.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    Jenkins...ICC cleared Pak of ball-tampering and you had experts even from England who testified against "Hair" judgment. There was not an iota of evidence to support the outrageous act of Hair in calling Pak as cheats and he copped it big time as a result. Regarding Inzy, I agree he was an atrocious skipper and a dumb dictator too who was treated rightly in the end as he was thrown out of the team despite pleading "for a few more years" on TV shows and interviews post the last WC debacle. If anything that was a result and just desserts for him for he exercised sham piety and was a rank hypocrite and tempestuous individual. The fact that he had been punished by Pak's match-fixing inquiry commission some years ago should have obviated appointing such a shady character as the skipper of Pak in the first place! Anyhow, he is gone now and not fit even to commentate on TV with his hilarious style of rambling incoherent chat.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 10:32 GMT

    Jenkins...I remember another amusing incident - this time involving Greg Matthews and Mudasser Nazar in an ODI in Sharjah in mid 80s. The bowler stopped the batsman from completing a run literally holding him by the shirt resulting in a run-out, and was merely all smiles when the batsman protested as he had to leave. Those were the days of no minimal cricket coverage and outrageous acts of transgression mainly from Aussie cricketers. It did not affect the result though of the match as Pak were cantering to victory.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    Well, it's moot whether Sikander following through too early can be construed as cheating or not, but the norms of warning by the bowler are definitely there, and I believe still practiced. Regarding McGrath's acts of provocation, really he himself was to blame for all that he had to endure. Once you start calling opposition batsmen as faggots, you really do not deserve any mercy. What the Asian teams of 70s and 80s had to put up with on a tour Downunder - utter abuse bordering on racial tinges too on occasions, it is not surprising now how they refuse to brook any nonsense given the days have arrived when Asian cricket muscle and clout is much bigger than those of other nations.

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 10:22 GMT

    Sorcerer, may I now address the issue of the "official" clearance after (your words) an exhaustive investigation. This would be the same ICC which just cleared Zimbabwe of any ....... well, you know what I mean. I'm not sure we can actually trust the ICC to put the rubbish out let alone uncover any wrong doings by it's favored sons. What I don't understand is why India goes to so much trouble to protect Pakistan given the history. Pakistan must have some very interesting photographs is all I can imagine. How did Inzy ever become captain anyhow? That was the real mistake.

  • The_Wog on July 8, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    A bunch of people that seem to only ever watch one team. Sure, Hair has had problems with Asian teams. He's also had problems with AUS, NZ, RSA, ENG, ZIM (Flower) and WI. After 300 matches, you're going to. Umpires favor AUS?? Worst umpiring of the IND series was Rauf in Perth, and remember Dar in the Ashes series? (Martyn does!) No team but PAK has ever been accused of ball tampering? Tell that to Denness and Tendulkar. Chappell's never criticized Hair? He's pro-Murali! And calling chuckers from the bowlers end is the only way it can be done (either that or from the striker's position, which would presumably have got Hair more criticism). The MCC could have, but didn't, take that power away from the BEU. Oh, and Miandad was out LBW in PAK a lot more times than people thing - look it up.

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    Ah, Sorcerer, I'm impressed. Whatever happened to old Sikander? Of course, it highlights a difference between us. I've always thought batsmen leading off early was cheating since they assumed the bowler would not run them out and took advantage. I've no sympathy for them as it goes back to those silly days when people thought the batsman had made an honest mistake. Of course, they, like Sikander, knew exactly what they were doing. A foot or two at the bowling end might mean an inch or two at the batting end when trying not to be run out. Sarfraz, on the other hand, was just being a rat bag. Oh, and the phrase is "selective memory" but I know what you mean. By the way, I don't condone sledging, waste of time on good players, but your example involved the late Jane McGrath which is no doubt why Glenn got a little agitated.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    @dwjenkins...your memory is not serving you fully or on purpose you are use selective amnesia. You talk of Sarfraz appealing unfairly and getting Hilditch out "handled the ball" but forgot to mention that it was act of retribution as Aussies had already indulged in foul play in that Test contrary to the spirit of cricket. In the same Perth Test of '79, prior to that dismissal of Hildicth, Aussies had drawn first blood on that count when your fast bowler, the erstwhile honorable match referee Alan Hurst had run-out the Pak Number 11 Sikander Bakht at the non-striker's end without giving any prior warning by removing the bails as the tail ender was following through too early. That giving a warning was the norm of cricket had by-passed your fair league cricketer. So why moan when you are paid back in the same coin? If you can dish it out, have the courage to accept some too when it comes your way. Just like how McGrath went mad when the West Indians batsmen sledged him back some years ago.

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    Jay_Kay, you're a brave man, calling my comments "ignorant" then proceeding to write utter uninformed drivel. Gatting wasn't complaining about the umpire being Pakistani or he would have complained much earlier. He just thought he was being cheated and he wasn't happy. We in Australia definitely appreciate Pakistani integrity. We still remember Hilditch being given out "handled the ball" just because he bent down and picked it up before giving it back to the bowler. Thanks for nothing Sarfraz. Oh, and the reason sub-continent teams have borne the brunt of negative propaganda over the years is because they've been rubbish too often. Too much in-fighting, factions, jealousy etc. By the way, how many times was Miandad out lbw back home?

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 6:48 GMT

    dwjenkins - you are clutching at straws really given that their exhaustive "offical" investigation and proceedings established that ball tampering only existed in the imagination of "Hair". Now thinking up all sorts of conspiracy theories and flights of fancy would never help "Hair" cause since the chapter is now closed. By the way, I would suggest Tevor Chappell should also be drafted in to the "fair league" administration somehow, perhaps as a computer specialist, after all he is the only player on record in modern-day cricket to have delivered an under-arm ball - some distinction. The irony being that the team he wronged also would be in the fair league - NZ.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    Well, better choices for coaches in the "fair" league should be drawn from the long series of cricketers from those countries who toured SA in the days of apartheid. They can then craft some new innovation of body-line and with dirt in their pockets (Athers) bring the game to a fairer level. The batsmen can stride out in the middle holding an aluminum bat (Lillie), kick stumps out of the ground (Holding) if not getting their way from an umpire, shoulder-barge (Croft) the umpire flooring the poor man in the process, the match referee can be Chris Broad who holds the world record for staying longest at the pitch after being given out, and the paying public could be herded to the grounds from local pubs - all those watching the fascinating "sport" of darts.

  • Bayman on July 8, 2008, 6:35 GMT

    Boys, and in particular Jay_Kay, ricky_my and asad114, you seem to have trouble accepting that Pakistan might have tampered with the ball. Let's assume the ball was at some stage in condition A. Sometime later the ball was in condition B. Three things are possible. The batsmen did it, the fields men/bowlers did it, the crowd did it. Probably not the batsmen. If the fields man/bowler noticed something wrong after the ball was returned from the crowd why didn't they say something. Could they not have seen the advantage and kept quiet. It's called cheating boys. If Inzy didn't know it just means he was a crap captain whose team was out of control. If any Australian team had done it, the captain would know, they'd cop the penalty and get on with it. And they wouldn't bleat about national integrity and other such rubbish. Pakistan have a documented history of ball-tampering and I've no doubt they are guilty as charged. It's not racism boys, it's fact, get over it.

  • murtaza_r on July 8, 2008, 6:15 GMT

    So PottedLambShanks lets have two leagues,one Asian and one the fair playing nations.And who will coach your team,maybe the Chappel brothers,because they are so fair,bowling underarm and all,or maybe Gatting because he can intimidate the umpires.The umpire can be Darrel Hair or Steve Bucknor and then we will see how much fair the league remains.And by the way who's going to watch,since all the paying public will be in the Asian league.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2008, 5:46 GMT

    @ Pottedlamb......."while England, NZ, Aus, SA and Windies continue to play good, hard, but above all else, fair cricket." Interesting comments and also highly misguided and specious......so now how about now educating what was "fair" and what was unfair when in the recent ODI Sidebottom "fairly" barged into the hapless Kiwi batsman's way, and then Collingwood "fairly" and quite sportingly too I might add, did not take the appeal back? Apply your yardstick of "fair" cricket being played by the countries you reckoned to that given scenario and then try to make sense out of the bickering's and controversies which emerged from that showdown between two of the "fair-play" teams you have conveniently identified. And how about fielding the Ireland cricket captain as a substitute fielder for England in an ODI? "Fair"? .....more like outrageously blatant many would say rather...

  • Rooboy on July 8, 2008, 5:32 GMT

    I fear for the future of cricket when the mentality of most fans from the sub continent is that anyone who makes a decision against them is racist or has a hidden agenda. The mypoic parochialism, lack of maturity, and outright hatred expressed here does the little for the image of cricket followers from the sub continent. They need to understand that the rules of the game are there to be applied to all teams, including India and Pakistan, regardless of their belief that they are above such laws. As India showed last summer in Australia, it is reaching a point where teams playing against India/sri lanka/Pakistan will have to agree to let these teams win a few games each series or they will refuse to play. The main problem is that, despite having a population that is greater than the rest of the cricket playing nations combined, India is still nowhere near the best team in the world. Unfortunately, they seem content to achieve that title via their off field, rather than on field, action

  • cricpolitics on July 8, 2008, 4:03 GMT

    How come Darrel Hair's re-instatement is not mentioned in the article? Does Ian think that it was a good decision from ICC? Wasn't ICC out of control and insane when they made that decision too? It seems like everyone is out of control including the cricket writers. Where is the good old game of cricket,anyone?

  • ricky_my on July 8, 2008, 0:49 GMT

    PUHLEEZE Mr. Chappell, what cop-out, I can't fathom what you are is trying to say: Inzy, we know that you were not cheating and you were wronged, but take the punishment anyway. If that is the how the current mindset is in cricket, then expect more challenges to end up in civil court. As for the game in question what difference does it make as to who won, lost, or drew. England won the series....oh I might add with the help of Daryl Hair of course, Is that okay with you Ian.

  • asad114 on July 7, 2008, 20:55 GMT

    What Ian Chappel conveniently forgot in his column was that the Pakistani team did walk out onto the field after Darrell Hair concluded the test match by taking off the bails. It was a rather smart move by the Pakistani team because it solely put the onus on Darrell Hair to get back onto the field and resume play. What they did by refusing to come onto the field earlier was to register their protest against the hasty,racially motivated, obnoxious decision making of Darrell Hair. I do not expect an Australian team to be in this situation because the umpire will always choose to overlook their activities and will give them the benefit of the doubt. If you disagree with my statement go over the recent test series involving Australia and see how umpires are subconsciously inclined towards Australia.

  • Sorcerer on July 7, 2008, 17:52 GMT

    Chappell being such wonderful batsman, but the fact remains, in stark context of this story, that it was ironically the Aussie skipper who pushed the game inexorably towards unremitting abuse when he mastered and then taught his players the art of "sledging" in early 70s. Now this reeks of massive air of hypocrisy when such dubious contributors to the great game take it upon themselves the right to arrogate what is right and what is wrong in cricketing spheres.

  • RonW on July 7, 2008, 14:38 GMT

    I am surprised how many of the comments,with a couple of exceptions,show a complete lack of ignorance of the laws of cricket. There are 2 umpires on the field and if Doctrove was overruled by Hair he should have been removed from the elite umpires permanently. Similarly if Inzamam found out "during the interval that 5 penalty runs" had been awarded then he is guilty of not knowing the laws of cricket; I bet he knows the signals for a 4 and a 6

  • PottedLambShanks on July 7, 2008, 13:33 GMT

    I have a feeling that this decision might be the straw which breaks the camel's back; the non-Asian teams have tired of playing against a Pakistan team who consistently not only throws its toys out of the pram, but also gets it own way and makes up the rules to paper over their myriad weaknesses. I predict a split between the Asian and non-Asia teams: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh [and Zimbabwe, apparently] can play amongst themselves while England, NZ, Aus, SA and Windies continue to play good, hard, but above all else, fair cricket. This is what most fans want, I believe.

    Also, for a team which is innocent of all wrong-doing, the Pakistanis sure are involved in a lot of controversial issues. The amusing thing is, though, that even with all of this help from the authorities and the BCCI, they are still a 3rd rate test and ODI team, at best!

  • Jay_Kay on July 7, 2008, 11:56 GMT

    Hmm Intesting reading your ignorant comments "dwjenkins" aswell as Ian Chappell whose onfield theatrics are well documented. Maybe it would have been more acceptable if Inzy & the Paki team had reacted in a similar vein to that of "Mr Gatting" in 84/85 when the English team was touring Pakistan, by abusing & ridiculing an umpire on the ground. Alas, even here history seems to paint gatting as the victim..oh let me guess because the umpire was a "Pakistani". I think the situation at the "Oval", however unfortunate was "necessary", actually it was long overdue. I have been an avid follower of cricket over the years and have seen non-anglo saxon teams bear the brunt of poor umpiring decisions & negative propoganda..and remain passive in such adverse circumstances. It is good to see that finally they've the spirit, confidence & pride to stand up for their beleifs, the tide is changing,Asian cricket is no longer the obedient sidekick it once was, the shoe is now on the other foot, WEAR IT!

  • Naseer on July 7, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    There is no doubt that the Oval fiasco was mishandled by every one involved in that game, the chaos started by Hair, expended by Inzi and co and now worsen by the ICC, This just shows how much dependent ICC is, it is not independent body which acts for the betterment of the game instead it is just like a starring turned into the personal favors by its members. What is the need to re-touch such ugly story again, and bring it to the headlines which does nothing but causes to disrepute the game, looking from any prospective or angle it is quite clear that the game is being hurt the most which is the only victim. Mr. Nasim Ashraf might put that in his bag of credentials, but it will be recorded a major blow to the game anyway.

  • ricky_my on July 7, 2008, 9:45 GMT

    Lets put things into perspective, Hair accused Pakistan of cheating and docked them five runs. Maybe five runs is not significant but its the principle. I wonder how Mike Gatting would have reacted if he were Captain of England and got accused of cheating. It is easy to blame Inzy for bringing the game into disrepute, but let say if had carried on, would that not be the same as admission of guilt? And if Pakistan would have won the game everyone would be saying "Pakistan won because they cheated". I disagree the integrity of the game was on the line and Inzy was right to not take the field when ordered. Why should he when the senior umpire is "biased" The game had to stop, and a protest filed. What do you think Imran Khan would have done? I think he would sued Daryl "Hair" in court for slander. By-the-way Daryl "hair" has a history of bad umpiring decision when a team from the Asian sub-continent is involved. As for Billy Doctrove he played it smart by keeping his mouth shut.

  • zain.ul.abideen on July 7, 2008, 6:44 GMT

    "I think what an Australian captain would have done if a Sri Lankan umpire had acted like Mr Hair is accept the miserable five run penalty and get on with winning the game. And with any luck he might have informed his team to stop tampering with the ball."

    First of all, if a Australian captain found out during the break without so much as a warning that he has been fined 5 runs for ball tempering and he still went on and kept playing doing nothing then he would have been playing with the integrity and pride of his bowlers, him team and not to mention his country but maybe to Australian players that doesn't matter or maybe they just expect other teams to do that. 2ndly,in response to statement regarding the ball tempering, even Ian Chappel "MR Australian comfortably biased towards others so that others don't point their finger at them'' also admits that Pakistan was wronged.

  • Sorcerer on July 7, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    Did Ian rake up so much fuss when the controversial Hair was re-instated? Isn't this the umpire who stunningly asked for money from ICC to step down from the scene? "For a few dollars more" would be an apt title to his next book - given that the tempestuous gentleman is in the habit of writing books about his bungling umpiring episodes. And the hubris of the man when proven to be all wrong during the hearings is also on record. The irony of it all, a man who has adopted England as his country of residence is allowed to officiate in England's matches as a neutral umpire! There are too many hair-raising issues connected with this dodgy character and it's time cricket is put out of its misery and saved from his selfish moves.

  • badsaladman on July 7, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    Where does the ICC's money come from? I mean, does some small percentage of my ticket price to go and see, say, Eng v SA go to them, and then some part of that to Zimbabwe? I'm not sure I like that idea...

  • Bayman on July 7, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    rnarayan, I could not agree more with what you say. For all the comment about Doctrove he may as well have not been there. But then the racist card is a little harder to pull out against Doctrove. Much easier to call it against the demon Hair who had the temerity to call Murali a chucker when everyone thought it but didn't have to guts to call it. Hair's "mistake" was to call it from the bowler's end but if it wasn't so, why did the ICC bring in the new ruling about allowing for some "bend" in the arm. Retrospectively making Murali legal does not invalidate Hair's original opinion. Once again, though, he invited controversy by not calling from square leg as per convention. I bet Ian Meckiff wishes he could play now. On his worst day he had a straighter arm than Murali.

  • rnarayan on July 7, 2008, 5:30 GMT

    I entirely agree that the result should not have been changed. That Hair mishandled the situation is clear, and for that he was sent back to school. Similarly, Inzy and Pakistan broke the laws, whatever the perceived provocation ("National Honour" and such silliness), and the Laws are clear on the penalty. but, what action was taken against the other umpire, the good Doctorove? Was he there just to make up the numbers? If he agreed with the way things were handled, he should have been sent for re-education too. If not, can one umpire alone be able to rule a match as forfeited,and is lack of spine acceptable in an Elite Umpire?

  • Bayman on July 7, 2008, 5:12 GMT

    In response to NY-NY, I think what an Australian captain would have done if a Sri Lankan umpire had acted like Mr Hair is accept the miserable five run penalty and get on with winning the game. And with any luck he might have informed his team to stop tampering with the ball. There may well be an argument for Hair being too officious, too pedantic and too stubborn. But let's face it, this problem was caused by an arrogant Pakistani captain, Inzy, who threw a tantrum and tried to call the bluff of the umpires. People can argue all they like about Inzy being "just about" to lead his team out after the break but he was about 10-15 minutes too late. Getting the result changed just hides Inzy's guilt in this episode. Good for Inzy, but not good for cricket. As for Hair being racist, spare me! It's not racist just because it's not popular.

  • davyc on July 7, 2008, 3:04 GMT

    Inzie has already shown that he can easily lose control and should take the responsibility for the team's staying in the dressing room. This, together with the Zimbabwe status outcome, makes one wonder what a similar Board would have done back in the days of apartheid.

    When political intrigue prevents the world from making a statement against despots, the actions of a sports body can be heartening, but not in this case. You said it, it's just not cricket!

  • NomanAhmad on July 7, 2008, 2:58 GMT

    Pakistan didn't forfeit the game, except in the most stern interpretation of Cricket rules. Pakistani player did not come out and Hair did get to ask Inzamam about whether his team wants to play, but since this particular clause from the rulebook had never been used before, a saner approach was required by all match officials in the interest of the game. Inzamam took an irrational and probably emotional decision, but his intention was never to give up on the game since the players were back in the ground within minutes, after Hair had given up. It was D Hair who tried to be a stern taskmaster, showing no interest in continuing the game. If Hair wasn't there the match would have continued, as teams have walked out in the past test matches only to return and finish the game. Hair closed the door on the match within minutes of getting the opportunity, and for that reason alone, the match shouldn't have been awarded to England. Justice is finally served now.

  • klb1947 on July 7, 2008, 2:27 GMT

    ICC erred in changing the result of the Test match after two years. But what action do they take against erring umpires ? Sourav Ganguly gave a bad report about Steve Bucknor after a series but no action was taken. He continued his biased umpiring especially against India and even made fun of Rahul Dravid in a test match.

    Darryl Hair , is back and he will continue to damage the game with his total dislike of sub continent teams.He called Murali a chucker from the position of straight umpire, which is unimaginable.

    ICC has lost credibility.

  • redneck on July 7, 2008, 1:21 GMT

    those of you who have called daryle hair a racist why was he allowed once again to umpire internationals??? because he is a fair man, that was to found to be in the case of the oval test in 06 to be officiating by the book!!!! nothing to do with racism!!!! Pakistan refused to take the field a act which is written in the rules as forfeiting!!! that is why the result should have stayed as forfeit!!! Australia refused to play in sri lanka in 96 and that too was a forfeit!!! the icc has to show some common sense or they will eventually have cricket taken out of their hands by someone more capable to run it

  • bobagorof on July 6, 2008, 23:45 GMT

    I'm disappointed that the Eng v Pak Test at the Oval has been declared a draw. If one team refuses to play, then in accordance to the laws of the game the match should be awarded to the other team - regardless of whether either side was wronged or feel as though they have been wronged. There are other avenues to protest, as teams have taken in the past, rather than to sulk in the dressing room. That is childish behaviour. Lodge a protest with the match referee and deal with it after the day's play. As for Zimbabwe, yet again my hopes that the ICC would act responsibly have been dashed. I can't understand how a side that hasn't played Tests in 3 years can continue to be called a 'Test' nation. Either they play - at whatever standard they can muster - or they should lose their Full Membership. As for the comment 'all other teams except Australia have visited Pakistan without any problem...', I remember a bomb going off outside the New Zealand hotel. Sounded like a problem to me.

  • ScottWozniak on July 6, 2008, 22:57 GMT

    Very good article from Mr Chappell, delighted to see a cricket writer 'saying it as he sees it. I agree, wholeheartedly, that the ICC has finally ceased to be a creditable 'governing body' and whilst the BCCI controls the vote of the other 3 sub-continental sides plus Zimbabwe, International Cricket will never be top of the Agenda. It's time for the ECB to break away with Australia and South Africa and again start a new International governing body. SL may join them and Bangladesh shouldn't be a full member anyway, no prizes for guessing why they were made a full member country too early? This is the only way I can see Cricket getting back to the top of the Agenda - where it should be. Effected by isolating Pakistan, India and Zimbabwe. I'm sure Chingoka would enjoy playing exclusively with his 'Asian friends', he doesn't need Englands patronage to do that.

  • NY-NY on July 6, 2008, 22:25 GMT

    Ian, you are one sane Aussie that I have agreed many times over. However, you are not implying logic in your views about Oval test. Darrel Hair is a racist umpire. Period. You can go back as far as 1996 when he called Pakistani Team "Monkeys". Darrel Hair has a long list of racist behavior on the criket ground. When Pak team came out to play a little late on that afternoon guess who refused to take the field? Guess who left the meeting with third umpire, Eng Captain and Pak Captain? Guess who took the shower and left the cricket ground?

    How come I dont hear from you raising voice against a racist and filthy umpire called Darrel Hair? Is it because he is Australian? Guess what would Aussie Captain do if an Sri Lankan umpire with a history of dislking Aussie players have done the same thing as Darrell Hair? Guess what Cricket Australia's reaction would be? Just take a wild guess??

    Its time to call a racist a racist. Darrel Hair is a racist. Be a MAN write something about that Ian.

  • ahassan on July 6, 2008, 20:14 GMT

    I had a lot of respect for Ian Chappell as a great former captain and an excellant commentator but he has lost a big chunk of it due to his biased article.He writes that during the 129 years history of Test cricket many teams have been wronged. At least indirectly he has admitted that Pakistan was wronged at the Oval. Here I would like to tell him that it is never too late to set something right that was wrong earlier and hats off to the ICC for doing just that.It is also debatble that Pakistan forfeited that test or it was a hasty decision by Hair. During 1996 World Cup when Australia did not visit Sri Lanka their matches were considered as forfeitures. Recently Australia did not visit Pakistan. Should all the matches be awarded to Pakistan? It may be mentioned here that all other teams except Australia have visited Pakistan without any problem since 9/11. What does Chappell say about it?

  • arculush on July 6, 2008, 18:25 GMT

    Maybe Robert Mugabe should become the head of the ICC. It would improve the lives of millions of Zimbabweans, make little difference to the way the ICC is run. Furthermore, he's good at changing results too!

    Law 21 clearly states "a match shall be lost by a side which in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play and the umpires shall award the match to the other side." Pakistan refused to play, therefore they forfeited the game. IT'S THE LAW.

    Law 21 also says "they then decide TOGETHER", therefore it is both umpires who decided, not just Darrell Hair - who has been the victim of an unjustified witch hunt. Why aren't there any comments on the ever-reliable Shakoor Rana - the Pakistan team's 12th man?

    If results are changeable then I'd like the result of the Eng-Pak 2001 Old Trafford Test overturned to a draw as England lost 4 wickets to no-balls. While we're at it, I'll brand David Shepherd an anti-English racist on the evidence of those mistakes.

  • S_Sen on July 6, 2008, 18:16 GMT

    Pakistan's decision to stay off the field at the Oval was not based on an ordinary umpiring error. It was based on Hair jumping the gun to accuse them of cheating. That is not the same thing as a few bad lbw calls: it is not just unfair, but also unjust. Under the circumstances, the team was entirely justified in going off the field, and the ICC has done the right thing by nullifying the penalty.

  • Irishfan on July 6, 2008, 16:42 GMT

    The best thing the ICC can do now is temporarily suspend them from international cricket, citing extraordinarily poor results. Send ZC smaller amounts of money that the ICC can actually trace to being used to develop cricket in the country, instead of lining Mugabe's pockets. The rest of the 11m dollars used on ZC now can be used to develop the game in KENYA, IRELAND, and other associates who have shown promise and talent. But really, this conversation should be going on in the UN. There's nothing a sporting organzation, be it ICC, or even FIFA and the IOC, can do to convince Mugabe to let democracy into his country.

  • Navakh72 on July 6, 2008, 15:46 GMT

    After the protest Pakistan team was ready to resume. But Hair refused to come out. Would it not have been easier to replace Hair with the third umpire? Even the Match Referee Mike Procter tried to change Hair's mind and resume the game. It was Mr Hair who held the game to ransom not Pakistan. Mr Hair was too big headed to listen to anyone. Has Zimbabwe been banned from Football or any other sport ? No. It's all about the single vote that Zimbabwe carry. AUS/NZ/ENG are worried Asian bloc is taking over world cricket.

  • Mahmood_Siddiqui on July 6, 2008, 13:25 GMT

    Pakistan forfieted the match...it was a wrong...but that boiling point didn't reach in one day...Pakistan at that time was constantly getting decisions from Daryl Hair that showed his clear cut bias against Pakistan. It's beyond my comprehension that a player gets a ban for slow over rate but umpires could get away with murder only because they is umpires. Pakistan logged so many complaints against Hair before that test match but no one took a serious notice...wrongly accussing a team of ball tampering just nailed it. Even a blind person could see the friction between Hair and Pakistan team in those days. I think it was ICC's job to avoid the inevitable. IMHO, they could have avoided that fiasco quite comfortably by simply by not mixing the two parties together or perhaps resolved the issues between them like grown ups.

  • georgiebest7 on July 6, 2008, 12:24 GMT

    I'm surprised that anyone expected the ICC to take international political decisions. The only time they have ever done something was during the apartheid and that too a whole six years after the IOC banned them.

    The ICC never spoke out against colonialism (England), anti-aboriginal ethnic cleansing (Australia) and a variety of internal conflicts in the sub-continent. If the ICC banned everyone at hints on internal political actions, the West Indies and perhaps New Zealand would be the only ones left playing. So to expect ICC to serve anyone but themselves is ignorant.

  • JackJ on July 6, 2008, 11:52 GMT

    Of course, Ian is 100% correct in this column. I think its time to demonetize the ICC! Cricket interests must once again dominate decisions and cash must be relegated to the basement. The best way to achieve this is via performance! The top 4 teams in the Test and ODI rankings should comprise the "inner cabinet" who make all critical decisions. Currently, there are 5 countries who qualify, Australia, India, England, S Africa and NZ! Coincidentally, its a good geographic spread too. Be nice to have Windies there too, but they need to do better. Once we make achievement the criterion for having a decisive influence, and not lucre, the ICC will come right! Then all countries would strive to be the best, which is precisely what is required for cricket. I'm not a T20 fan, because its sole purpose is to make money. So I've excluded it from the criteria. The appointments should be for 1 year, and then reviewed in the light of the rankings. Lets get cricket right!

  • koi1 on July 6, 2008, 11:38 GMT

    These are just another in a long line of decisions by the ICC that defy logic. In the world of sport there can't be a governing organization that is as ineffective and impotent as the ICC. Whether it be off or on the field there are a litany of decisions in the last few years that severely undermine the game of cricket.

    Kudos to Michael Holding for resigning from the ICC Cricket Committee. At least there is one ex-cricketer who has the strength of character to listen to the voice of his conscience.

    The ICC needs to be restructured so that the best interests of the game are not sabotaged by the national board representatives looking to serve their own limited vision.

    And someone please inform the ICC of the word 'accountability' as they seem to be completely oblivious to it.

  • amyhar on July 6, 2008, 10:49 GMT

    In as much as press freedom must be promoted, Cricinfo, in my deeply considered view, should take the flak for the way it has propagated hate against Chingoka. Claiming that he is a thief when there is no proof is regrettable. The negative publicity and agenda-driven reportage on the situation at Zimbabwe Cricket has persuaded cricketers and sponsors more than Chingoka's alleged incompetence and thuggery to turn their back on the game. It's a shame that Ian and a number of cricket greats have not cared to put the Zim crisis in context. Visit the country if you are brave enough. Find a bottle of mineral water in the country if you can. Organise a day-night match if there is power. Ask kids to play cricket when they have to queue for mealie-meal. There's so much more to the problems bedevilling the game than Chingoka. And the biggest problem is international cricketers and their nations isolating Zimbabwe cricketers. Even if all the players who have left wanted to come back, how do they?

  • brains on July 6, 2008, 10:38 GMT

    Ian Chappell is right on the mark with this article. There is absolutely no justification for changing the result of the Oval test. Whether Pakistan did or did not tamper with the ball (and given their past record there will always be doubt) the fact is that they refused to play and as such forfeited the match. END OF STORY!! As far as the Zimbabwe issue goes this is yet another fudge by an organisation with all the spine of a jellyfish. With these clowns in charge I despair for the future of the game

  • Rastus on July 6, 2008, 10:35 GMT

    The ICC have made a ridiculous decision in calling the match a draw. Where will this stop? A team can now refuse to take the pitch knowing it won't be penalised. Can India get results overuled from their recent tour to Australia. Most people who know the rules of cricket think Darryl Hair and Billy Doctrove were right in their decision to award England the game even if the original ball tampering decision might not have been. In the Australia India series the umpires made several incorrect decisions which can be proved were wrong and had a direct impact on the result of a test match. Should the BCCI use its power within the ICC to overturn those results and give India the series win.

  • SaremHassan on July 6, 2008, 10:09 GMT

    Inzamam received a four match ban for "forfeiting" the Oval test. Thats punishment enough I think. ZC should be ostracized from International Cricket until and unless they become transparent and accountable for the finances they are provided. Countries like Kenya, Scotland and Ireland deserve better.

  • uknsaunders on July 6, 2008, 9:50 GMT

    on the zimbabwe issue, quite simply the ICC sponsor Mugabe and I wouldn't be surprised if in the next round of UN sanctions the ICC or the £10m is included. Those boards who have allowed this to happen should be ashamed of themselves. On the pakistan oval test issue, I understand it's a sensible polictical issue but does it stop other sides doing the same in future? It's saying "if you don't agree with something, don't go on the pitch and the polictions will make it right!".

    Finally, the whole thing smacks of Asia block doing what they want rather than what's right for cricket ie. keeping zim in as a full member for it's vote and then using that vote to change history.very sad, maybe it;s about time the other countries left the ICC and formed a proper governing body with morals.

  • cvskrishna on July 6, 2008, 9:33 GMT

    Article is very biased.

    Olympics is the greatest sporting event on earth. Zimbabwe is still a member of IOC. I quess there will be a team in Beijing from Zim next month. No one is objecting to that. As far as I know they were in Sydney in 2000 and I don't know what will happen in 2012 London olympics if Mugabe is still in power.

    Football is the most popular sport in Zim. Zim is still a member of FIFA. I don't hear any opposition to that.

    There are so many British companies making money from Zim. So far even british government has not done anything.

    Looks like when it comes to cricket everyone wants to take a moral stand. It is called convenient politics or in simple words HYPOCRISY. You may say your opinion is because of corruption in ZC. But don't tell me there is no corruption in Zimbabwe's football and olympic associations.

  • Ruchit on July 6, 2008, 9:33 GMT

    Well reading all the posts and all the articles (many of them I dont remember exactly) I can say that according to me, nothing wrong has happened.

    First of all, can we actually call that match a forfeit case?

    Did the captain even mentioned that they do not wish to play?

    As I know, Pakistan never wanted to forfeit the game. They were shocked by what was happening on that day and were not happy with the things going on. They came to the ground but it was too late.

    It was, according to me, the captain's immaturity that he couldnt get the team together and get on the ground. The procedures against umpire could be done after the match.

    I know umpires should be respected, but Mr. Hair?? Does he deserve respect? Was this the only match he acted against Asians? And if Inzi had played that match and filed a case against Hair, he would have been charged some money and banned for few matches.

    But what he did forced ICC to be serious and remove him from the panel!

  • Davec on July 6, 2008, 9:28 GMT

    Ian Chappell's reasoning is entirely flawed.

    Pakistan were obviously prepared to take the field against England in that match, but not without making a protest. It was Darryl Hair's bloody-minded handling of the situation that forced the volatile Pakistanis into extending their protest beyond what might have been considered reasonable.

    Clearly Pakistan were in a stronger position in the match and were obviously disappointed that it was called off. Hair was correct within the letter of the law, but his own behaviour contributed enormously to the outcome.

  • Sorcerer on July 6, 2008, 9:11 GMT

    @clark

    Well, those who are criticising the ICC decision regarding the forfeited match, should be reminded that it had the unanimous approval of all cricketing boards including that of England whose official Test ranking may well change now given the change in the result. We can all argue endlessly about which stance is right and which is wrong, but the fact of the matter is highest-level official unanimity in this case is indicating clearly the correct course of remedy and action, which thankfully has been availed. Never too late. Pak were outrageously labeled as cheats amd deprived of a win by that umpire who has a history of controversies in matches he unfortunately officiated against Asian nations, and it can only be right that the result has been changed to a draw given the umpire was found to be acting without any supporting evidence and purely on his twisted whims. The snafu that ensued due to Hair's actions should all be debited to his account.

  • Sorcerer on July 6, 2008, 9:02 GMT

    Well, the Pak issue as handled by the ICC should be seen with a more balanced approach. The writer oif the article has conveniently sidestepped how Darell Hair has been re-introduced into world cricket as an elite umpire after his ignominous exit of a couple of years ago amongst all things, an incredible lawsuit against his former employers. What irreparable damage that most controversial umpire has caused to the game is beyond belief and his return would only worsen the matters.

    Regarding the ZC issue, yes indeed toeing their line is morally wrong, but then it's bit rich posturing coming from countries like England who have harbored a number of infamous dictators of other countries in the past. How the authorities there have supported and propped some African dictator premiers is well-known.

  • StevenGibbons on July 6, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    I can't help but find it sad that any opinions lodged which question the veracity of calling off the Oval Test are couched in a defensive context (re PrinceAli's remarks). It is sad that the game was abandoned, and Darrel Hair has been an antagonistic presence in the past (though seems to be looking to atone in some way now). As has also been said, black armbands could have been worn in protest (without the threatened reprisals that were levelled at Henry Olonga in the World Cup for example) before an investigation following the match. As to the 'Zimbabwe problem', it is a reflection on the way life seems to be going in general, a Global disease if you will, that woolly compromise, no pressure for change (the audit of Zimbabwe Cricket's books would've been very interesting), and a determination that, in Pangloss' words that we can "have the best in all possible worlds". Suspending funds until a satisfactory audit had taken place would've been the least to hope for.

  • PaddyBriggs on July 6, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    Ian

    You are 100% right about the ICC. I have always thought that if ex Cricketers ran the show rather than lawyers and bsuinessmen then it would be much better. Why don't you volunteer?

  • yellowshirt on July 6, 2008, 8:27 GMT

    I have just come home from Dubai as a delegate and am embarrassed by the result of the Zimbabwe vote and the changing of the England v Pakistan result.

    What is the ICC? The paid employees of the ICC do a fine job (including the ex CEO, Malcolm Speed). He was the front man for the ICC Board and had to take the flak from the media on decisions made by them. Speed did a very fine job as CEO and eventually stood up to his principles over Zimbabwe's financial irregularities. For this he was put on "gardening leave" after a kangaroo court in India. With this system in place, countries are only interested in their own agendas and as India is the financial powerhouse, they need Zimbabwe's vote to make their agenda a reality. Until this system of running an organisation changes, we will continue to see the ICC make strange decisions.

    If my Associate country had done half of what Zimbabwe has done regarding financial irregularities, we would have quite rightly been suspended.

  • Nipun on July 6, 2008, 8:16 GMT

    I fully agree with the ICC's decision.Pakistan was accused of CHEATING by a fucking white bullshit cheater Darrell Hair.It's a pity that we r still seeing him as an umpire.It still is bewilderin how that rogue got away after he had demanded money for compensation.For cricket's sake,umpires such as Hair,Asoka Silva,Bengal umpires & stuff need to be eliminated as soon as possible.

  • georgiebest7 on July 6, 2008, 7:51 GMT

    By reversing the result, they are in effect reversing a decision an on-field umpire made. Where do you go from here? There have been numerous times where batsmen have been given out wrongly or cases where the batsman should have been out but wasn't given and then hit the winning runs. Do we start over-turning all those results as well?

    Darrell Hair was punished for making a wrong decision, Pakistan's name was cleared and that should have been it.

    As for Zimbabwe, did anybody expect anything else? The ICC themselves brushed aside the KPMG audit, did anyone feel they would expel Zimbabwe? BCCI's support or not, the ICC does not have the courage to make such a hard decision or else over the years the only countries left playing cricket would be the West Indies and New Zealand. England banned for its colonialism, Australia for anti-aborigine behaviour (similar to apartheid), the sub-continent for various internal conflicts and South Africa again for the recent xenophobic attacks.

  • hafizadeel on July 6, 2008, 7:50 GMT

    the article and the comments Seems to be subjected to where these ppl belong belong to. Ian although a respected x-cricketer seems to ignore the point which ali mentioned: the emotional side. just for an instance what will be the reaction of australian ,england or south africa ppl when an onfield umpire acquise them AS 'cheaters', the very next day all these powerful x cricketmen from the respected countries will blow the icc of not taking any actions. point is simple : a single mad man made the dignified game in a dignified country a puppet in his hands just to the fact that under any given condition u have to say "yes sir ur right"

  • bonaku on July 6, 2008, 7:49 GMT

    I believe that changing test verdict is very wrong, it is some thing like removing the Steve Buckner from officiating final test against Australia during last downunder series. They have rejected to come and play so they have to pay for that. Regarding Zimbabwe, I would rather stick with dileep premchand's view of western double stands.

  • EasternStar on July 6, 2008, 7:31 GMT

    It's sad to say but the cricketing world is developing increasing split between the white and the brown camps - and the opinions regarding the reversal of this verdict appears to be based according to these lines.

    On the one hand, Australians, Englishmen plus affiliates are outraged at the decision - yet you won't hear a single word of disgust from Indians, Pakistanis or Srilankans.

    From a personal perspective, I wouldn't care either way if the decision had stood or been refused - but I'll say this as most of the vocalised complaints are by the English/Australian camp - the Umpire made the wrong decision. That much was agreed a long time ago. Officials believed there were ways of rectifying the situation but Darryl Hair refused to listen and called off the match. Remember that the issue isn't as "black and white" as your comments suggest.

  • Oyeoye on July 6, 2008, 6:30 GMT

    ICC is a bunch of money circus jokers. But to defend Mr Hair is indefensible. Its a shame that people like Mr Hair are officiating. When he called Murali from square leg for no balls, he should have been out that very day. Keeping such people in game is invitation to trouble. There should be resp[ect for umpire not for Mr hair when he wears the white coat. At the end of the day he is racist, who takes decisions depending on the colour of skin of player involved. You appoint these idiots, and be prepared to back track.

  • Alexk400 on July 6, 2008, 6:00 GMT

    I think ian chappell is completely wrong. They guy to be blamed for oval fiasco is hair. And he escaped. Why not pakistan and they are the victim of hair's racist outlook. If hair had the proof , we won't be here discussing this. I understand refusing to play on normal circumstances like a bad call is wrong. In this circumstance hair acted like racist thug. He saw what he wanted to see and call it like what in his mind , pakistanis are cheaters. Even though i believe pakistan cricketers look for shortcuts , Oval fiasco is Hair's creation. Leave pakistan out of this. They were the victim.

  • SAIF_CND on July 6, 2008, 5:51 GMT

    interesting column by Ian Chappell. But like ICC, he also was kind of scared to address the truth and take on India. India continues to bully ICC and members due to their financial strength and hence ICC cant do much against Zimbabwe upsetting India. It is sad the game we love so much is being destroyed by these influential people who love to show they are the boss!

  • D.V.C. on July 6, 2008, 5:47 GMT

    PrinceAli: While I agree that the evidence was thin and it is a great indignity to be accused of tampering with the ball the incident is not entirely without precedent. Throwing is also considered cheating and there is a penalty associated with it also. When Murilitharan was called for throwing the Sri Lanka captain at the time made to take his team off the field. However, in the end he recognised that such an action would result in a forfeit and his team gallantly fought on. As a result the concept of throwing is dealt with differently, change was affected without one team walking off the ground. Pakistan were in ahead in the game. What they should have done was what Sri Lanka did - continue to play - and make their protest after the game.

    Chappell is right, by reversing a result two years after a game is played the Umpire's authority is undermined. There are multiple umpires and a match referee at all Tests, that is enough for a result to be binding. Michael Holding seems to agree.

  • cricpolitics on July 6, 2008, 5:42 GMT

    I certainly agree with Ian about the sorry state of ICC however the writer has forgotten to add another miserable effort of the International Cricket Council when they re-instated a disgraced and guilty umpire (e.g. Darrel Hair) back into officiating the international cricket. I guess this never happened in the history of cricket as well. One more correction, as for as I can remember the Pak team did go back in the field to continue the game however one umpire considered himself above the game and refused to continue and later on tried to cash the Oval incident by sending out the all famous email to ICC. If cricket were to grow as a game it really needs a break from ICC and the umpires like Hair.

  • Len.Fittings on July 6, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    What the Pakistanis did is inexcusable. The very notion of the game is that the umpire must be respected and his decision must always be honoured, regardless of whether it is right or wrong. Australian teams used to travel to the subcontinent numerous times only to encounter home umpires who gave biased decisions toward the home team. In fact this used to happen to visiting teams in Australia as well, but no one had the audacity to walk off even if they thought the umpire was cheating. And what has Hair done that is so bad anyway, apart from calling Muralitharan for chucking 10 years ago, which I might add that most people in Australia still agree with. Since then he has been branded as a racist, but you must remember that Hair did not make the accusation of ball tampering on his own, umpire Billy Doctrove agreed with Hair's accusation on the day in question, yet everyone in the subcontinent continues to go after Hair.

  • GULNATHANI on July 6, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    I like you Ian but do not agree with your comments. You are incorrect in stating that " no team has ever refused the continue the game". This has happened a few times on much trivial issues but always solved with negotiations. In this partcular instance, Mr Hair was in hurry to call it a day. He called the game as Pakistan team was coming to the ground. You are also aware of the role of the match referee. Umpires like D. Hair should not be allowed to officiate. ICC should have made this decision on its own a while back. It is never too late. I agree and support ICC decision. I don't beleive that Michael Holding would resign for an issue like that. There must be other reasons that we are not aware of.

    GUL

  • kalyanbk on July 6, 2008, 5:17 GMT

    I believe Ian is right in that the ICC hasn't covered itself in glory in its handling of cricketing issues. Cricket is no longer just a sport, it is now a sports entertainment business and in the world of business, ethics often take a beating. The only way forward is for some accountability and transparency in the running of the ICC. As far as the oval test is concerned Pakistan really could have played under protest (maybe wear black armbands to show their protest). What prevents others teams now from walking out if things go against them? Who will then compensate all those who paid to view the match? Who will also compensate those who paid for pay-per-view television and/or internet streaming? Perhaps the ICC in its double standards forgot the first rule of the entertainment business. The show must go on.

  • clarkgable on July 6, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    @PrinceAli Many other teams over the course of history have been directly and indirectly accused of cheating and been cheated of many wins. No one can or should change the past. It has been mentioned that there is sympathy for Pakistan over what happened and there will always be, but that doesn't give anyone the right to overturn the result of a match. 10 years down the line, will the result be changed to a win because Pakistan had the upper hand in that match? Will the 1992 WC's RSA vs Eng semifinal result be changed because the rain was a stupid one? And then will we all be ordered to imagine that Pakistan beat South Africa in the finals?

  • a.ramu.ece on July 6, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    Before the meeting ICCs agenda was to please everyone. And ICC had its way, England went home happy(Twenty20 WC remains in Eng, Zim does not participate), Zimbabwe goes happy(Gets the full funding from ICC, its team status remains intact) ,BCCI is smiling(They have made sure Zimbabwe the fifth of its vote bank after the asian countries ,retains the power to vote). Yeah, ICC have pulled it off..However ridiculous it may seem , they have somehow managed to please everyone.. One thing is sure, Zimbabwe cricket has got the worst possible deal, if there was one form in which they were competive it was 20-20 . Now they are not gonna participate in it too. Possibly the worst decision ICC has made is changing the result of the Oval Test. ICC needs HELP !!

  • Arun.. on July 6, 2008, 4:21 GMT

    While Ian rightly pointed out the absurdity of the forfeit-to-draw joke, he might have missed the possible motive behind it. After the IPL, the ICC must have got their anxieties towards the BCCI quadrupled. Sounds more like Dr. No getting wary of Goldfinger. But anyway, the ICC would've viewed the Oval test match as a delightfully palatable carrot for the PCB. Chuck the traditional values, chuck common sense, chuck dignity and voila!, the ICC in collusion with it's blue-eyed Boards has drawn PCB closer towards it and possibly, a bit away from the BCCI. Match drawn, England still officially wins the series 1 - 0, Inzi's and PCB's pride restored, a black mark from cricketing annals erased and more importantly, a new gambit devised. Only BCCI would feel a little uneasy. But knowing them, they'll surely come up with something dirtier and viler. Here's to the greatest test match in recent times, the one between the ICC and the BCCI.

  • sitoten on July 6, 2008, 4:13 GMT

    There is a lot that Ian Chappell did as a cricketer and as a commentator & writer that I have not agreed with. Sometimes, I feel he has been controversial for the sake of being on stage. However, this article is right. I hope that people like him, Botham (that's a new one - Botham and him in the same team!!), Holding and others that are not afraid to speak out start mentioning that the "sensible" world can get along without the ICC and a couple of countries more concerned about money, and have a very happy and lucrative set up until the suspect one's agree and are willing to join in. If they need ideas, talk to that Stanford gent. He would loooooove to have a part in this.

  • PrinceAli on July 6, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    Pakistan was accused of CHEATING...it was an attack on the players' honor, the team's honor, and most of all every Pakistani's honor. When a rogue umpire who has been ridiculed with controversies accuses a team of cheating without ANY evidence whatsoever, the team has a right to defend themselves. Give me one reason why the Pakistani team, should have continued playing before an umpire who thinks they are cheats. Like you said, in 129 years of test cricket no team has ever forfeited. Well in 129 years of cricket, no team has been called cheaters without any evidence. Congratulations on a very thoughtful article, Ian

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  • PrinceAli on July 6, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    Pakistan was accused of CHEATING...it was an attack on the players' honor, the team's honor, and most of all every Pakistani's honor. When a rogue umpire who has been ridiculed with controversies accuses a team of cheating without ANY evidence whatsoever, the team has a right to defend themselves. Give me one reason why the Pakistani team, should have continued playing before an umpire who thinks they are cheats. Like you said, in 129 years of test cricket no team has ever forfeited. Well in 129 years of cricket, no team has been called cheaters without any evidence. Congratulations on a very thoughtful article, Ian

  • sitoten on July 6, 2008, 4:13 GMT

    There is a lot that Ian Chappell did as a cricketer and as a commentator & writer that I have not agreed with. Sometimes, I feel he has been controversial for the sake of being on stage. However, this article is right. I hope that people like him, Botham (that's a new one - Botham and him in the same team!!), Holding and others that are not afraid to speak out start mentioning that the "sensible" world can get along without the ICC and a couple of countries more concerned about money, and have a very happy and lucrative set up until the suspect one's agree and are willing to join in. If they need ideas, talk to that Stanford gent. He would loooooove to have a part in this.

  • Arun.. on July 6, 2008, 4:21 GMT

    While Ian rightly pointed out the absurdity of the forfeit-to-draw joke, he might have missed the possible motive behind it. After the IPL, the ICC must have got their anxieties towards the BCCI quadrupled. Sounds more like Dr. No getting wary of Goldfinger. But anyway, the ICC would've viewed the Oval test match as a delightfully palatable carrot for the PCB. Chuck the traditional values, chuck common sense, chuck dignity and voila!, the ICC in collusion with it's blue-eyed Boards has drawn PCB closer towards it and possibly, a bit away from the BCCI. Match drawn, England still officially wins the series 1 - 0, Inzi's and PCB's pride restored, a black mark from cricketing annals erased and more importantly, a new gambit devised. Only BCCI would feel a little uneasy. But knowing them, they'll surely come up with something dirtier and viler. Here's to the greatest test match in recent times, the one between the ICC and the BCCI.

  • a.ramu.ece on July 6, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    Before the meeting ICCs agenda was to please everyone. And ICC had its way, England went home happy(Twenty20 WC remains in Eng, Zim does not participate), Zimbabwe goes happy(Gets the full funding from ICC, its team status remains intact) ,BCCI is smiling(They have made sure Zimbabwe the fifth of its vote bank after the asian countries ,retains the power to vote). Yeah, ICC have pulled it off..However ridiculous it may seem , they have somehow managed to please everyone.. One thing is sure, Zimbabwe cricket has got the worst possible deal, if there was one form in which they were competive it was 20-20 . Now they are not gonna participate in it too. Possibly the worst decision ICC has made is changing the result of the Oval Test. ICC needs HELP !!

  • clarkgable on July 6, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    @PrinceAli Many other teams over the course of history have been directly and indirectly accused of cheating and been cheated of many wins. No one can or should change the past. It has been mentioned that there is sympathy for Pakistan over what happened and there will always be, but that doesn't give anyone the right to overturn the result of a match. 10 years down the line, will the result be changed to a win because Pakistan had the upper hand in that match? Will the 1992 WC's RSA vs Eng semifinal result be changed because the rain was a stupid one? And then will we all be ordered to imagine that Pakistan beat South Africa in the finals?

  • kalyanbk on July 6, 2008, 5:17 GMT

    I believe Ian is right in that the ICC hasn't covered itself in glory in its handling of cricketing issues. Cricket is no longer just a sport, it is now a sports entertainment business and in the world of business, ethics often take a beating. The only way forward is for some accountability and transparency in the running of the ICC. As far as the oval test is concerned Pakistan really could have played under protest (maybe wear black armbands to show their protest). What prevents others teams now from walking out if things go against them? Who will then compensate all those who paid to view the match? Who will also compensate those who paid for pay-per-view television and/or internet streaming? Perhaps the ICC in its double standards forgot the first rule of the entertainment business. The show must go on.

  • GULNATHANI on July 6, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    I like you Ian but do not agree with your comments. You are incorrect in stating that " no team has ever refused the continue the game". This has happened a few times on much trivial issues but always solved with negotiations. In this partcular instance, Mr Hair was in hurry to call it a day. He called the game as Pakistan team was coming to the ground. You are also aware of the role of the match referee. Umpires like D. Hair should not be allowed to officiate. ICC should have made this decision on its own a while back. It is never too late. I agree and support ICC decision. I don't beleive that Michael Holding would resign for an issue like that. There must be other reasons that we are not aware of.

    GUL

  • Len.Fittings on July 6, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    What the Pakistanis did is inexcusable. The very notion of the game is that the umpire must be respected and his decision must always be honoured, regardless of whether it is right or wrong. Australian teams used to travel to the subcontinent numerous times only to encounter home umpires who gave biased decisions toward the home team. In fact this used to happen to visiting teams in Australia as well, but no one had the audacity to walk off even if they thought the umpire was cheating. And what has Hair done that is so bad anyway, apart from calling Muralitharan for chucking 10 years ago, which I might add that most people in Australia still agree with. Since then he has been branded as a racist, but you must remember that Hair did not make the accusation of ball tampering on his own, umpire Billy Doctrove agreed with Hair's accusation on the day in question, yet everyone in the subcontinent continues to go after Hair.

  • cricpolitics on July 6, 2008, 5:42 GMT

    I certainly agree with Ian about the sorry state of ICC however the writer has forgotten to add another miserable effort of the International Cricket Council when they re-instated a disgraced and guilty umpire (e.g. Darrel Hair) back into officiating the international cricket. I guess this never happened in the history of cricket as well. One more correction, as for as I can remember the Pak team did go back in the field to continue the game however one umpire considered himself above the game and refused to continue and later on tried to cash the Oval incident by sending out the all famous email to ICC. If cricket were to grow as a game it really needs a break from ICC and the umpires like Hair.

  • D.V.C. on July 6, 2008, 5:47 GMT

    PrinceAli: While I agree that the evidence was thin and it is a great indignity to be accused of tampering with the ball the incident is not entirely without precedent. Throwing is also considered cheating and there is a penalty associated with it also. When Murilitharan was called for throwing the Sri Lanka captain at the time made to take his team off the field. However, in the end he recognised that such an action would result in a forfeit and his team gallantly fought on. As a result the concept of throwing is dealt with differently, change was affected without one team walking off the ground. Pakistan were in ahead in the game. What they should have done was what Sri Lanka did - continue to play - and make their protest after the game.

    Chappell is right, by reversing a result two years after a game is played the Umpire's authority is undermined. There are multiple umpires and a match referee at all Tests, that is enough for a result to be binding. Michael Holding seems to agree.