Inzamam unlikely to appeal ban as umpire Hair sidelined

INZAMAM-UL-HAQ is unlikely to appeal after receiving the latest in a series of suspensions from the International Cricket Council for his role in the controversial end to last month’s final Test against England.

The Pakistan captain was cleared of ball tampering but given a four-match one-day international ban for bringing the game into disrepute as the final Test with England became the first in history to be forfeited.

Having refused to play after tea on the fourth day on two occasions in protest at on-field umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove awarding five penalty runs to England for ball tampering, Inzamam is now all but ruled out of next month’s Champions Trophy tournament in India. However, Inzamam, who has 24 hours to appeal against the verdict of the two-day hearing at the Oval, has indicated he will accept the punishment – his fifth in the last 19 months of international cricket.

“Since this is the minimum possible suspension I do not think we wouldappeal,” Inzamam said.

“Since the next four matches start with the Champions Trophy next month I will not be able to play in the tournament. It was a matter of the team’s reputation and ball-tampering allegations meant we had cheated. We have built a reputation with this young team in the last four years and what happened at the Oval was an attempt to spoil it.”

Pakistan have not made a final decision about whether they will appeal until after they have read the detailed judgment from senior match referee Ranjan Madugalle, who chaired the two-day hearing, but any further action looks unlikely.

Their feud with umpire Darrell Hair, who is blamed by Pakistan for inflaming the situation at the Oval, has not been calmed, however, with the Pakistan Cricket Board still insisting the Australian official should not stand in any of their matches.

Hair has been withdrawn from the Champions Trophy for “safety and security concerns” and may not have his contract renewed by the ICC when it expires in March 2008.

But in the meantime, Pakistan have asked the world’s governing body to investigate Hair’s conduct during that final Test and whether he is also responsible for bringing the game into disrepute.

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