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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Pakistan put tour match in doubt
Inzamam and team-mates
Inzamam faces a disciplinary hearing on Friday
Pakistan players may skip Thursday's match against Middlesex at Uxbridge, on the day before skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq's disciplinary hearing.

But coach Bob Woolmer has moved to quell fears the one-day series against England could be in danger.

Woolmer stopped short of guaranteeing the series would go ahead if Inzamam is banned for all or part of it.

"We are all trying to get our heads around what has happened but we are keen to play cricket," he said.

"We need the one-day series to prepare for the World Cup.

"We need to get rid of this polarisation and we want to bring the two parties [Pakistan and England] together again."

I found no such marks on the ball which warranted for the umpires to take such a big decision and cast a slur on our team

Zaheer Abbas
Pakistan manager

Inzamam faces a possible suspension of eight one-day internationals or four Tests if he is found guilty of ball-tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.

Woolmer told the BBC's Newsnight programme on Monday: "If Inzamam is penalised and penalised heavily, which he could well be, then I cannot guarantee that my side will definitely play."

The tourists are scheduled to train in the nets at Lord's on Wednesday.

And a spokesman for Middlesex told BBC Sport the club is "preparing as normal" for the game, which is scheduled as a warm-up for the five-match one-day series.

But Pakistan manager Zaheer Abbas said: "I have spoken to Inzamam and some players who are contemplating not playing any matches until the hearing is held.

"There is an itinerary in front of us so at the moment we will be playing.

"We have had discussions on the matter but we have not reached any conclusions yet."

The Pakistan Cricket Board had said it expected the series against England to go ahead despite Sunday's controversy.

"We intend to continue with this tour," said PCB chairman Shahriyar Khan.

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The umpires awarded the fourth Test to England after Pakistan failed to come out promptly after tea in protest at being penalised for ball-tampering.

Australian umpire Darrell Hair was seen as the prime mover in the decision to award five penalty runs to England and change the ball which prompted Pakistan's dramatic response.

He has not been appointed to stand in the one-day series, but Pakistan plan to tell the ICC they will not play any matches in future with him in charge.

Abbas said he had inspected the ball which Hair and his colleague Billy Doctrove had changed on suspicion that it had been tampered with.

"I have played a lot of cricket at all levels and I found no such marks on the ball which warranted for the umpires to take such a big decision and cast a slur on our team," he said.

"The few marks I saw were definitely not inflicted by any person but seemed to have appeared after the ball hit the concrete many times during the course of play.

"If we were tampering with the ball would we have a spinner bowling from one end?"

SEE ALSO
Rashid Latif column
21 Aug 06 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
20 Aug 06 |  England


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