Inzamam hearing postponed

Inzamam Ul-Haq’s hearing regarding ball-tampering and bring the game into disrepute has been postponed.

It has been put back because Ranjan Madugalle, the ICC’s senior match referee, whom England and Pakistan have both stated they want to carry out the hearing, is not available due to a family illness.

This also means the ODI series between the two teams should go ahead. Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer had suggested the ODI series may not go ahead were Inzamam found guilty, however the hearing will now almost certainly be put back until after the ODI series.

If Inzamam is found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute he will face a ban of four Tests or eight ODIs. The ICC regard this as a more serious offence than ball-tampering, which Inzamam has been charged with as the captain is deemed responsible for his team’s actions.

Two parties have unexpectedly defended umpire Darrell Hair, who is at the centre of the controversy, today. The Board of Control for Cricket in India was expected to join Pakistan in refusing to play matches in which Hair is officiating.

However BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah has said: “We would never say no to any umpire that the ICC supported, if the ICC is happy with Hair, then we are happy. Let us see a report first, and if Mr Hair has made a mistake, then we will see what happens. But it is up to the ICC to take action.”

Shane Warne has also defended Hair, who also controversially called Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing. The leg-spinner said: “I don’t think Darrell Hair is a racist. I think that he tries to do the best job that he can, like any other umpire. He goes by the letter of the law and does what he thinks umpires ought to do. It is unfortunate that he has been involved in a couple of controversies in his time, but labelling him racist is unfair.”

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