Cricketer Mike Gatting was accused of using ‘foul and abusive language’ to umpire Shakoor Rana in England’s tour of Pakistan.
Rana accused Gatting of cheating, and threatened not to stand today unless he receives an apology. The trouble had exploded in the last over, with two balls remaining before the end of the second day of the second Test.
It was the most astonishing and ugly confrontation I have seen in 22 years of reporting Tests. Furious Pakistan cricket authorities discussed calling off the series and England tour manager Peter Lush talked of ‘living on a knife edge.’ Team manager Mickey Stewart talked of ‘the tragedy of the game.’
The incident erupted when Gatting – after informing Pakistan’s batting hero Salim Malik – ordered David Capel to move in from the backward square leg boundary close enough to save a single in the hope of squeezing in one more over.
Gatting said later: ‘As Eddie Hemmings starteed to bowl I noticed that Capel was getting too close and waved my hand to stop him. That is when Rana stepped in.’
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