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05-Oct-2009 11:40:00 GMT
ICC Champions Trophy, 2009

Simon Taufel Apologizes to Umar Akmal

Karachi: Umpire Simon Taufel has apologised to Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal after footage replays confirmed that the Australian erred in ruling him out at the Champions Trophy semifinal against New Zealand in Johannesburg.

According to team sources, Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam had a heated argument with umpires Taufel and Ian Gould at the hearing, called by match referee Javagal Srinath after the umpires reported that Akmal had shown dissent on being given out.

Taufel's apology came after the footage of the match made it clear that Akmal played the Daniel Vettori's delivery with his bat, but was given out LBW.

"When the hearing was held, Alam vented his frustration on the umpires and asked Srinath to run the replays of Umar's dismissal and other key moments in the match when decisions went against Pakistan," the source said.

"Replays certainly showed that Taufel had erred badly by giving out Umar at a crucial time of the match on the bowling of Daniel Vettori," the source added.

The source said Srinath, the former India pacer was also sympathetic to the plea of the Pakistan coach after which Taufel apologised to the player for his mistake.

"Srinath made the point at the hearing that players were human beings and if crucial decisions went against them they would also react and as long as their reaction was within the norms of the game it could be ignored," the source said.

Srinath later cleared Akmal of violating the code of conduct and showing dissent with the umpire's decision.

Umpiring in the semifinal became a talking point after Pakistan went down to the Kiwis by five wickets on Saturday, with some former players pointing out that if it had been India at the receiving end their board and media would have torn into the ICC and match officials.

"Unfortunately Pakistan is not as strong as India on the international front and that counts for a lot. Remember how the Indians pressurised the ICC to replace umpire Steve Bucknor in Australia after he gave a couple of bad decisions against them," former Test cricketer Basit Ali said.

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