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Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 06:51 GMT 07:51 UK
Shakoor's unforgettable legacy
Shakoor Rana with Mike Gatting and Peter Lush
Shakoor Rana during his infamous clash with Gatting
BBC Sport's Pat Murphy reflects on the controversial umpiring career of the late Shakoor Rana.

Shakoor Rana's claim to cricketing fame was one he later came to regret.

On the eve of England's recent tour to Pakistan, he expressed sadness that the events of Faislabad in 1987 had soured relations between the two countries.

It had contributed to a stand-off - which meant England had not toured Pakistan for a Test series in the intervening 13 years.

During various media interviews last year, Shakoor recalled, with clarity, the unseemly finger-wagging argument with the England captain Mike Gatting.

It had led to the abandonment of the third day of the second Test in Faislabad.

Shakoor refused to stand again in that Test until he received an unconditional apology from Gatting for the language used in the dispute.

Mike Gatting thinks about his next move
Gatting came to regret his actions
Gatting, meanwhile, was serious that Shakoor had suggested that he was cheating by moving a fielder behind the batsman's back while Eddie Hemmings was in the process of bowling.

Gatting eventually apologised and the Test continued - minus a day.

But England players who were there have always maintained that Shakoor was egged on by the Pakistan captain Javed Miandad because Pakistan were in danger of losing that Test.

For his part, Gatting remained wary of Shakoor's motives whenever the olive branch was offered in his direction over the next 13 years.

Gatting reacted derisively last year when it was reported to him that Shakoor wished to meet up with him in Pakistan to bury the hatchet at last.

Certainly, to this observer, Shakoor appeared to enjoy his notoriety.

Media disappointment

When I approached him last November in Lahore, on behalf of the BBC, he was keen to record his reminiscences of Faislabad as long as he was paid handsomely.

He was to be disappointed.

Gatting - who was sacked from the England captaincy in 1988 for an alleged dalliance with a bar maid during the Test match - eventually acknowledged that he ought to have lost the captaincy earlier for cricketing reasons.

Namely the day he lost his temper with an umpire on the field of play in a Test match.

Last November, there was relief on all sides when Shakoor Rana announced he wouldn't be travelling from his home in Lahore to observe the Faislabad Test match.

The media circus was disappointed that Shakoor seemed at last aware the game of cricket needed a dignified line to be drawn under one of the saddest episodes in Test history.

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AUDIO/VIDEO AUDIO/VIDEO
Mike Gatting confronts Shakoor Rana in 1987Pakistan 1987
Shakoor's England controversy
See also:

10 Apr 01 |  Cricket
Umpire Shakoor Rana dies
16 Oct 00 |  AudioVideo
Shouting match
17 Oct 00 |  England on Tour
Gatt regrets Rana row
15 Oct 00 |  England on Tour
Rana buries hatchet
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