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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 11:04 GMT
Latif backs Waqar ban
Rashid Latif
Latif: Keeping wicket against South Africa in 1996
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes the one-match suspension handed out to paceman Waqar Younis for ball tampering was justified.

Match referee John Reid imposed the ban and fined Waqar 50 per cent of his matche fee for lifting the seam during Sunday's Singer Cup game against South Africa in Sri Lanka.

Pakistan are to protest to the International Cricket Council but Latif, who played in 22 Tests and 101 one-day internationals between 1992 and 1998, believes a firm line must be taken on unfair play.

"I believe in fair play and action must be taken against those cricketers who use foul tactics, whether it is Waqar or any other bowler around the world.

Waqar Younis
Waqar: The PCB beleieves he was harshly treated
"I am not against Waqar or Wasim Akram but I know much more about ball tampering. For Pakistan's sake, I don't want to add much," he said.

All-rounder Azhar Mahmood was fined 30 per cent of his match fee for a similar offence, and Pakistan captain Moin Khan was reprimanded for "allowing the spirit of the game to be impaired."

But Waqar is the first player to be banned for ball tampering and Tauqir Zia, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said of Reid: "I don't trust the man. I have written to the International Cricket Council saying it should either remove Reid from the panel or not make him a match referee for Pakistan's matches."

He added: "When television showed Waqar fiddling with the ball, Reid asked the on-field umpires over walkie-talkie to examine the ball and report back to him.

"Umpires Asoka de Silva and Peter Manual, who are on the international panel of umpires, saw the ball and told Reid they found nothing wrong with it. Reid, however, went ahead and penalised Waqar on his own."

Zia said he had considered pulling Pakistan out of the tournament, but had decided against it.

"I hope the ICC will take action on my letter and remove REid from the panel."

But Latif, however, rejects the PCB's allegation of bias.

"ICC appoints the referee with certain responsibilities and I don't think Reid was biased this time," he said.

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