16 Jun 2009

Pakistan defend Gul against ball-tampering claims

6:30 am on 16 June 2009

Pakistan's cricket coach Intikhab Alam has defended pace bowler Umar Gul following suggestions of ball-tampering.

New Zealand are understood to have spoken with match officials to clarify that Gul's record international Twenty20 figures of five wickets for six runs against the Black Caps at the Oval had been achieved legitimately.

The former Pakistan leg-spinner Alam says it's disappointing to hear that, as Gul is a fantastic bowler with a rare ability to achieve reverse swing with a new ball because of his pace and action.

The matter is now set to be closed after officials told the New Zealand management they had no queries regarding Pakistan's conduct in the field.

Pakistan became the first side in history to forfeit a Test match when they refused to take the field at the Oval after being penalised five runs for ball-tampering.