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29 September 2006

"Evidence of the ball" convicts controversial umpire

I doubt that there is anyone in the world for whom Deborama is their main source of cricket news. Nevertheless, for my own sense of closure, I will post a link to this arcane (to me) and masterful commentary on the latest, and nearly last development in the Hair vs. Inzamam saga over ball-tampering allegations and a forfeited test match. To summarise, the ICC (International Cricket Council) has ruled on the charges, and Inzamam, captain of the Pakistani team, is cleared of ball tampering, but convicted of "bringing the game into disrepute" due to the Pakistani team's sit-in protest over the cheating allegation. But the fact that the key charge that started it all, that some unspecified member of the Pakistani team tampered with the ball, has been overturned by the ICC is almost unprecedented, possibly a career-ender for the controversial umpire Hair, and bad news for umpires generally. Angus Fraser, author of the linked article, had a chance to examine the ball himself, and agrees that there is nothing like conclusive evidence of tampering, even if such a thing could be concluded from the appearance of the ball alone. Another expert witness examined the ball briefly then tossed it aside with a curt "There's nowt wrong w' that." So, ahem. Fraser reckons laws are due to be changed in the near future.

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