Saturday, 5 May 2007

Dar complaints World Cup was too long

(Bucknor and Dar/ AFP Photo)

One thought if anyone was amused by the never-ending World Cup in the Caribbeans, it must be the Men in White. Their job have been reduced to counting marbles and doubling-up as walking hangers for funky shades, muddied sweaters and dirty hankies but still the more they stood under the sun, the more they earned.

But Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar – part of the circus that scripted the farcical end to the final in Barbados – rubbishes the theory and reveals even he got fed up.

Dar says "It was a bit too long and in the end tired out the players and umpires. I think the World Cup should be of shorter duration."

Probably bored by the Caribbean waters, was he thinking about the biryani of his native Jhang while officiating in Barbados? Was it homesickness that cluttered his common sense and made him party to the inept match conduct in the final?

Dar said "I think there was a communication breakdown and we acted on instructions from outside. But the feeling was that the match had to be completed on the reserve day but the captains told us this is the rule. At times mistakes do happen. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and match officials have done the right thing by apologising for the mistake made in the final."

The problem is ICC has promoted a culture where confession is the redemption. Malcolm Speed apologises but does not sound apologetic. Ditto with Dar. It happens, we know. To err is human. but consider the occasion. World Cup final is not just another Indo-Pak ODI in another non-descript, god-forsaken place, after all. Or is it?

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