The Fans' View
21 Aug 2006
By: Matt Pitt
Pakistan's recent protest and forfeiture of the final Test against England has caused uproar in the cricketing world, and shockwaves throughout sport.
With journalists, ex-players and pundits everywhere queueing up to give their opinion on events, we took a look at what the fans thought, with a visit to the Cricket Web Forum
"If umpires do believe that the ball has been tampered with, the penalty should be much more than five runs. This is going to be huge in the papers afterwards! I thought Pakistan had finally gotten past their reputation in England. If they only think the ball has been tampered with, then they shouldn't have given the five run penalty. The fact that they did give the penalty, leads me to believe that they are sure. We'll find out after the game." silentstriker, in USA
"Ok, so they are accused of cheating and their oh so precious honour is degraded. What would be the more appropriate action - a) they play and win the game, after it they say that no one in their team cheated and that the umpire got it wrong, the British public seem to believe they never cheated anyway. Or b) they throw their dummies away and go sulk in the changing room." open365, in England
"I don't blame [the umpires] for not coming out to be honest. I don't care what happened, you cannot hold the game of cricket to ransom for any reason other than player safety. It makes a dirty precedent for player power and them spitting the dummy over things they don't like until they get their own way." PY, in England
"The ramifications of this could be gargantuan...we essentially have an umpire making a decision, right or wrong, but he's been completely over ruled by the players. We are seeing the birth of player power here, and the consequences could change the face of cricket. What next, we don't want to play seven ODI's in India therefore shall go on strike for two of them? This could be the biggest issue since Cronjegate." Langeveldt, in England
"Can't believe all the people here defending Pakistan's behaviour. Obviously they were accused of cheating and weren't happy about that, and fair enough (assuming they didn't actually cheat, of course), but it's completely inappropriate to refuse to come out because you disagree with the decision of an umpire. As others have said, it's effectively holding the game to ransom, and nothing good is ever going to come of it.
The umpire's decision should be respected throughout the course of the match. If there is a grievance, take it up with the relevant authorities afterwards. Forfeiting because you don't agree with a decision is poor form, and changing your mind about it afterwards and trying to come out to play anyway it just stupid." FaaipDeOiad, in Australia
"This is realllllly silly." Jamee999, in England
"This is AWESOME." Slow_Love, in Australia
"The behaviour has been about 9-year-old standard from Pakistan and 5-year-old (maybe 5-and-a-half) from Hair - International cricket is not about making a scene and furthering your own agendas. Unless, and this is a huge unless, he has conclusive and irrefutable proof of tampering, nothing should have been said. You don't disrupt sports games for this unless you are small-minded and egocentric. I was umpiring a U13 game the other day and I was convinced of a suspect action in the other side - but I didn't take the Hair route and no-ball him. Being noticed like that as an official helps nobody. He should also have come back on, given the crowd cricket - making clear his position - and allowed it to be settled overnight." Neil Pickup, in England
"Umpires must be free to make the right decisions without undue outside pressure. Due to Pakistans antics this evening, can you imagine the pressure on umpires the next time they suspect a team is ball tampering (especially if its Pakistan)? That its totally unacceptable. What if a player claims a catch but is then told by the umpires it didnt carry, does that player storm off and refuse to take the field because the umpires didn't take his word for it? Players cannot hold games to ransom no matter how much 'in the right' they are or think they are. This goes for any sport, not just cricket.
If Pakistan had a problem with the decision then they should have gone about it in the proper ways. But instead they decided to call Hair's bluff and it failed big time. They would have probably won this Test, but instead it's going to go down as an England win, or abandoned, or just stripped of Test status completely (the last 2 options would be a total farce to be honest)." SpaceMonkey, in England
"Decision may be right, but that doesn't mean Pakistan's actions were wrong. I still support their stance of not coming out to play. They were accused of cheating by an umpire with a spotty reputation and who seemingly had no proof. I will agree it would've been a farce had they carried the game on by replacing Hair. I think ICC made the right decision, as per the letter of the law. But there is such a thing as "principle". Pakistan were right on that front and Hair was wrong. I just hope that's the last we see of him in an International match." Fusion, in USA
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