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banner Saturday, 24 November, 2001, 12:01 GMT
Zia rules out breakaway
Board of Control for Cricket in India president Jagmohan Dalmiya
Indian cricket chiefs and supporters are up in arms
The head of the Pakistan Cricket Board has offered support to India over the Mike Denness affair.

But Board president Tauqir Zia has dismissed suggestions that the controversy could lead to a split in international cricket, with Asian countries forming their own breakaway grouping.

The Indian government will not currently allow their national side to play Pakistan.

And Zia told the Dawn newspaper: "If the Asian body is not united, how can it challenge the authority of the ICC?"

I can quote many examples in the recent past where ICC officials have interpreted and enforced the code of conduct rules and regulations without any uniformity or consistency
Tauqir Zia

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has been in dispute with the International Cricket Council since Denness, an ICC match referee, handed out bans and fines to six players during the second Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth.

Among them was Indian batting star Sachin Tendulkar, who was found guilty of ball tampering.

The ICC backed Denness, prompting the United Cricket Board of South Africa to relieve him of his duties to ensure the third game at Centurion went ahead as planned.

But the ICC responded by withdrawing official Test match status for the game.

Indian Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya has been quoted as saying: "Controversies will not help cricket. We will work out the issue with the ICC, we are a family."

But England's Guardian newspaper suggested on Saturday that he could lead a Kerry Packer-style breakaway unless the matter is satisfactorily resolved.

Pakistan cricket chief Tauqir Zia
Tauqir Zia: Umpires should have more power

"He sees a bigger role for himself and would be able to ensure that the sub-continent was acting virtually as his own fiefdom," the newspaper claimed.

Zia said Dalmiya was right to protest against "the inconsistencies of the mother body".

He added: "Pakistan continues to regard and respect the ICC as the supreme body. But we also feel that it needs to be more neutral like FIFA (world football's governing body)."

Pakistan also believe ICC code of conduct rules are enforced without consistency and want more power over on-field discipline to be given to the umpires.

Indian cricket board president Jagmohan Dalmiya
"The decision has to come from the appropriate forum"
Pakistan cricket board chairman General Taquir Zia
"We should respect the ICC's laws"
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