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Pakistan warn ICC over appointing umpire Hair

Written by: Staff

KARACHI, Sep 12 (Reuters) The Pakistan Cricket Board has told the International Cricket Council (ICC) to shun Australian umpire Darrell Hair for next month's Champions Trophy in India.

A well-placed board source told Reuters today that the ICC had been informed in writing that if Hair was put on the umpires panel for the Champions Trophy, it would consider a strong action including a pull-out option from the event.

The PCB is due to take on Hair in a disciplinary hearing of the ICC in September 27 and 28 which will hear charges of ball-tampering and bringing the game into disrepute against captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan pleaded not guilty to both charges and have hired a team of lawyers to defend them.

The row erupted between the Pakistan team and Hair during the final day of the fourth test against England at the Oval last month when the umpires decided to change the ball and penalise the Pakistanis five runs for alleged ball-tampering.

Pakistan refused to accept Hair's verdict and declined to come out after tea, rssulting in the umpires awarding the match to England.

''Pakistan is very clear on Hair's future appointments. It does not want him appointed either in the Champions Trophy or any other series in which is Pakistan is playing,'' the source said.

He stated that the board had also sent another strong letter to ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed with reference to the warning he issued to Inzamam and the PCB to refrain from speaking on the Oval incident.

''The Board Chairman has asked Speed that whether the ICC code of conduct allowed (Speed) or Hair to also make public comments.'' PCB chief Shaharyar Khan, when asked if Pakistan would accept Hair in the Champions Trophy, said the board had taken the desired steps to ensure no crisis arose.

''That is all I can say on it at this moment,'' he added.

Khan announced after a meeting of the board's executive board today in Karachi that former test captain Zaheer Abbas had been replaced as manager for the Champions Trophy.

He said another former test player and ex-ICC match referee, Talat Ali would, would be the new manager for the event in India.

''I wouldn't say it is any indictment on Zaheer's capability but we have decided to move him away from this responsibility as he is one of our witnesses in the ICC hearing and we don't want any extra pressure on him,'' he said.

He confirmed that Hair and umpire Billy Doctrove reported Pakistan for ball-tampering to match referee Mike Procter after the Oval test.

Reuters AY DB1907

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