QEA final hit by controversy and record fines

The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Division One final between Habib Bank Limited and Pakistan International Airlines in Karachi was marred by controversy as four players were fined a total of nearly $2,000 for ball tampering, slow over-rates and use of abusive language during the game.

HBL, who were crowned champions, beat PIA by five wickets with Aftab Alam anchoring the chase of 235 on the final day with a determined century. The day-night game was an unprecedented event in Pakistan first-class cricket and was hotly-contested with lots of chatter between the players and accusations of ball-tampering. However, the trigger for the uneasy atmosphere on the field, though, appeared to have been poor umpiring for a major part of the game.

PIA were fined 75,000 rupees ($875) since they bowled 15 overs short, while HBL, who were eight overs behind schedule, were fined 33,000 ($390). Najaf Shah, the PIA left-arm fast bowler, was found guilty of ball tampering and fined 15,000 rupees ($175). Similar fines were imposed on PIA captain Kamran Sajid, who made two half-centuries in the final, and middle-order batsman Fahad Iqbal for showing dissent to the umpires. In addition to the fine, Iqbal was also banned for two one-dayers. HBL batsman Shan Masood was fined 8,000 rupees ($95) for also showing dissent.