Wisden Cricket Monthly / Features

February 1988

'There has been one miscarriage of justice after another'

Quotes in the aftermath of the Mike Gatting - Shakoor Rana row

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Quotes in the aftermath of the Mike Gatting - Shakoor Rana row



Shakoor Rana in a Pakistan cap on the cover of WCM © WCM
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Gatting was wrong to have lost his temper, whatever the rights and wrongs of Rana's officious interruption. But no disciplinary action will be taken against him. Nor will Gatting be ordered to apologise. Instant reaction from Peter Smith in the Daily Mail

It was not his job at square leg to inform the batsman what I was doing. I did nothing for which I need to apologise. England captain Mike Gatting

The triviality of the cause and the violent verbal aftermath sum up the powder-keg on which this three-match series sits. A five match programme would probably not last the course. Michael Austin in the Daily Telegraph

We would play if Gatting no longer took any part in the game. We don't want to play against him any more. Pakistan liaison manager Fahim-ud-Din

National prestige, cultural tradition, class and racial prejudices play their irrepressible parts. They affect this Test match as they affect every match between black and white cricketers, and perhaps also every match involving either the world's only Islamic cricketing nation or the representatives of the most snobbish and hypocritical sports administration. Guardian editorial

Mike Gatting used some very filthy language to the umpires, and, let me tell you, some less filthy words are bastard and son of a bitch, and so on. No-one has the right to abuse umpires. BCCP president General Safdar Butt

In Pakistan many men have been killed for the sort of insults he threw at me. He's lucky I didn't beat him and even more lucky no spectator came onto the field to assault him. Umpire Shakoor Rana

There has been one miscarriage of justice after another. Scyld Berry in The Observer

Our system of umpires works beautifully. Pakistan's chief selector Haseeb Ahsan

By demanding that Gatting and his players accept being screwed on a daily basis as a patriotic obligation, the TCCB are not honouring any real sporting tradition. Hugh McIlvanney in The Observer

They (Pakistan) have been cheating us for 37 years, and it is just getting worse and worse. The TCCB should bring England home. Tom Graveney

You wouldn't see those sorts of decisions given in village cricket, let alone Test cricket. The England players have my sympathy. Ian Botham

A storm in a cup of tea. Haseeb Ahsan's description of the incident

By open dissent, and by implicit support of open dissent from captain and tour management, England abandoned the principles of fair play they claimed they were defending. In effect, they said that if a Pakistani refuses to walk, he is a cheat; when an Englishman refuses to walk, it is because the umpire is a cheat. In the immortal words of Mike Gatting: 'One rule for them, one for us.' Simon Barnes in The Times

Last night he (Gatting) vowed never to play in Pakistan again, and who can blame him? Pat Gibson in the Sunday Express

Just a few days ago a British boxer - and I am British now - threw a punch at the referee. I did not think British sport could sink any lower. How I bitterly regret what Mike Gatting has done. Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd

You can all see the sacrifices he (Gatting) has made, and that is when it gets you in the guts. England cricket manager Micky Stewart

I can add another to these mindless, meaningless parrot cries which are being repeated not only around the TCCB tables at Lord's but also on the floor of the House of Commons. It's this one, the corniest of them all: 'What we have seen out here isn't cricket.' Robin Marlar in the Sunday Times

It was the members of the BCCP who decided that the nerve of the men at Lord's would crack before theirs did. Simon Freeman in the Sunday Times

The standard of umpiring witnessed in the current series is deplorable ... We keep our eyes closed and remain mute while the whole nation goes down the corruption drain. Pakistan newspaper The Nation



Mike Gatting and Shakoor Rana exchange views © Cricinfo
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I fear an international plot to deprive this country of its influence in world cricket - a political power game. Ray Illingworth in The Sun

General Zia is more than aware of things. If Zia tells Shakoor to go out and umpire, you bet your life he'll umpire. A senior Pakistan player

An England captain must set an example for the rest of the team to live up to, not down to. Whatever the provocation, he should not indulge his feelings as Gatting did. Daily Express editorial

Why are we so weak? Over the years our players have suffered some terrible injustices at the hands of Pakistan, India and West Indies and every time it has come to a crunch the England side has had to back down. Denis Compton in the Sunday Express

It is not an easy nut to crack. Most of those who have watched the six days of Test play would probably respond: 'Why bother trying when all you'll find inside is dust.' England tour manager Peter Lush

Newspaper reports cannot have conveyed the full horror of the umpiring. John Thicknesse in the Evening Standard

I was happy with the umpiring in India last year, New Zealand is OK these days, and the only real area of concern is Pakistan. They seem to have a chip on their shoulders about their cricket there. Australian captain Allan Border



Shakoor Rana talks to the media in the umpires' room at Faisalabad © WCM
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It would be stretching cynicism too far to suggest this is the best time-wasting exercise ever, but an entire day has been lost from a Test that England could win to square the series. Mike Selvey in The Guardian

Although he was responsible for the majority of the more dubious umpiring decisions in the first Test match at Lahore, Shakeel Khan was one of the umpires submitted to England by the Pakistan Board for the final Test . . . the only greater provocation the Pakistanis could have come up with would have been to propose the contemptible Shakoor Rana. John Woodcock in The Times

Do not supervise the match unless Mike Gatting apologises in writing. He has abused the whole Pakistani nation and I cannot bear it. I think he is not the son of a man. That is why his face is from a white monkey. Telegram to Shakoor Rana from one of his superiors on the Lahore railways

With the mood in which this series is being played, I personally feel that there is no point in carrying on. Ijaz Butt, BCCP secretary

You reach the stage when you wonder if you'll ever get a decision in your favour, and end up feeling isolated. Keith Fletcher in the Daily Express

The bulldog breed, traditionally prepared to battle for every inch of ground, have conceded defeat with a limp handshake forced upon their captain. Michael Austin in the Daily Telegraph

This action has done great harm to England's cricket reputation, and from the remarks I hear all about me it has not exactly been a boost to race relations! Wilfred Wooller in a letter to the Daily Telegraph

Lush has had the roughest end of the stick and has stood up to the strain well. Nonetheless, however well-intentioned his efforts to bring about a compromise, I feel he has ultimately done English cricket few favours by allowing himself to be manipulated by the Pakistan officials. Martin Johnson in The Independent

Regardless of the provocation, Gatting has made a mess of it and should be disciplined. Ted Dexter, reported in The Times

I hope that the present episode will be forgotten and that the next England team to Pakistan will specifically ask Shakeel Khan and Shakoor Rana to stand as umpires. A. H. Kardar in The Times

Moving fielders after the batsman has settled and the bowler has begun his run-up is not an uncommon practice. Miandad often does it. John Woodcock in The Times

Mike Gatting was packed off to the headmaster's study without so much as a Wisden to stick down the back of his trousers. Martin Johnson in The Independent

Cricket between England and Pakistan is without a future. James Lawton in the Daily Express

The combination of Haseeb and Miandad will take Pakistan cricket to further depths. They will certainly smile and shake your hand but that is all part of the duplicity. Pakistan used to be high on sportsmanship. When I went there as England captain their team was full of fine sportsmen like Majid and Intikhab. Tony Lewis

I have now established that the umpire is the superpower in the game. I did it for umpires everywhere. Shakoor Rana

Talking of leadership, could it not have been possible for Lush or Stewart to provide Gatting with a proper piece of writing-paper on which to pen his 'apology' to Shakoor Rana? Letter to the Daily Telegraph

© WCM

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