Pakistan may not play England at cricket this century because bad
feeling runs so deep over ball tampering allegations, according to
former Pakistan captain Imran Khan. The ball tampering libel case
between Safraz Nawaz and Allan Lamb has driven cricketing relations
between the two countries to an all time low. The two countries were
due to play two Test series in the next seven years, but the Sunday
Telegraph quoted Imran as saying that "nothing has been organised."
Imran said no match was likely "this century."
Safraz, a former Pakistani Test fast bowler, sued Lamb after the
former England batsman claimed in a newspaper article that Safraz had
told him about ball tampering techniques. The court hearing ended on
the fourth day last week when Sarfraz withdrew his libel allegations.
But the suggestion that Safraz passed on "ball tampering" techniques
to the new generation of fast bowlers who have made Pakistan one-day
world champions and one of the most feared Test nations has increased
ill-feeling against English cricketers, the Telegraph said.
Ehsan Mani, who represents Pakistan on the International Cricket
Council, and who was present at the libel hearings, said
Pakistan-England Tests were not threatened. "We have long cricketing
links with England. Pakistan has not invited England -- we are busy
till 1996 -- but if England invite us we would welcome the
invitation," he was quoted as saying. The Telegraph said though that
no invitation was likely to be made until the ball tampering
controversy was settled. It added that this was likely to take "many
It has been alleged that deliberately scuffing one side of the ball
and polishing the other side with sweat helped Pakistan bowlers obtain
an unfair advantage during their 1992 series against England. The
names of current star bowlers Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Aquib
Javed were all mentioned in the Safraz-Lamb libel hearings. Wasim
Akram was said to have denied "learning anything" from Safraz and felt
very angry about the allegations.