Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz was accused of ball-tampering by England batsman Joe Root during the ongoing Test match between the two countries in Dubai but no evidence of wrongdoing was presented, said team sources on Sunday.
Riaz was apparently accused of tampering the ball during England’s second innings on the fourth day of the second Test match.
But the match referee or other match officials have not asked Riaz for an explanation, nor has any other Pakistani player or official been contacted in this regard, sources in the Pakistan team said.
Riaz was the pick of the bowlers in the first English innings, picking up four crucial wickets to set the match up for Pakistan.
In 2006, Pakistan had forfeited a Test match against England – the first time this had happened in 129 years of Test cricket – after the officiating umpires, Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove, penalised them five runs for ball-tampering.
Inzamamul Haq, then Pakistan’s captain, was punished for his role in Pakistan’s unprecedented forfeit of the fourth Test against England at the south London ground.
Pakistan had twice refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day of the fourth Test against England on Aug 20, 2006.
England complained to the match referee that Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz deliberately trod on the ball during the fourth day of the second Test on Sunday, British media reported.
The incident took place during England’s second innings with batsman Joe Root getting involved in a heated argument with Riaz.
“Root complained to the umpires because he felt Pakistan fast bowler Riaz had deliberately trod on the ball,” the Daily Mail reported.
It added: “England coach Trevor Bayliss visited the match referee Andy Pycroft to alert him to the incident, as Root – who was battling to save the game – and Riaz briefly became involved in a heated exchange.”
But Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam said he was unaware of the incident despite British media claiming the incident was an attempt to alter the state of the ball.
“I am not aware of any such report or incident,” Alam told AFP. “Riaz was not summoned by the match referee so there is no issue on that.”
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace played down the issue.
“In the heat of battle you are going to see the odd exchange between players,” said Farbrace after the day’s play.
“Riaz certainly won’t be signing for Chelsea in the Premier League with his footballing skills. The umpires dealt with it at the time and that is the end of it.”
England, chasing a daunting 491-run target, were 130-3 at close with Root batting on a fighting 59 and Jonny Bairstow on six.
Pakistan need seven wickets on Monday’s final day to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after the first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi.
Veteran batsman Younis Khan on Sunday warned England can fight back to foil Pakistan’s victory bid in the second Test in Dubai.
Pakistan were in sight of a victory after getting three key wickets before stumps on the fourth day, with England 130-3 – chasing 491 – still needing 361 runs for victory or bat out the final day for a draw.
The first Test of the three-match series ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi.
Younis said the match will not be over quickly on Monday.
“I have always said that this is not an England team which succumbs to the spin,” said Younis. “This is a changed England team which has the capablity to fight so it will be hard work for us.”
England were struggling at 19-2 after losing Moeen Ali (one) and the in-form skipper Alastair Cook (ten) before Joe Root (unbeaten on 59) and Ian Bell (46) put on a 102-run stand for the third wicket to lead the recovery.
Younis praised Root.
“The way Root is playing at the moment it is fantastic for me that a young guy from Yorkshire plays spin bowling very well,” said Younis of Root whose fifty is his 12th this year.
“I think there is still hard work for us if we want to win this game,” said Younis who notched 118 for his 31st hundred on the fourth morning.
His hundred helped Pakistan declare their second innings at 354-6.
Younis said he wants to cash on to every batting opportunity.
“I feel that I don’t have much time so I want to cash every opportunity I get,” said Younis. “Probably I am not there after three four years so I am happy to perform whenever I get the opportunity and want to convert it into a big innings.”
Younis said he still wants to play in one-day cricket.
“I have always said that I have not retired from one-day cricket,” said Younis dropped after a poor show in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.
“I want to perform well in that format and I will be there (playing one-day cricket) one day.”
England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace stressed his team needs to fight.
“We’ve got to come back with the attitude that we can survive the day. I thought the way Bell and Root played was excellent,” said Farbrace.
“I thought that’s what the two of them showed today, if you apply yourself and you are very clear on how you are looking to play you can survive on that pitch.
“We have to show we can learn quickly.”
The third and final Test starts in Sharjah from November 1.
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