KARACHI: Shakoor Rana, the Pakistani umpire who became famous for his furious row with England captain Mike Gatting during a test in Faisalabad, later regretted the incident, his son said.
"My father was a very jovial and temperamental person and he gained a lot of fame and attention after the incident. But he wished the fame and attention had come for some other reason," Mansoor Rana told Reuters ahead of the Pakistan versus England cricket series beginning in Nottingham on Thursday.
Shakoor Rana, who died in 2001, was involved in the infamous confrontation and finger-wagging incident with Gatting on the second day of the test in December, 1987 that eventually marred relations between the two countries and attracted the involvement of the foreign office.
The row happened after Shakoor stopped play, saying Gatting had moved his fielders during the bowler`s run-up without informing the batsmen.
Shakoor said Gatting had used abusive language while the former England skipper accused the umpire of calling him a cheat.
Shakoor refused to resume play until Gatting apologised. The third day`s play was lost as the tension rose between the two countries and there was talk of the series being cancelled.
The test resumed only after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ordered Gatting to write an apology to the umpire.
England did not tour Pakistan again until 2000.
"My father used to get a lot of letters from the United Kingdom from people supporting him for his brave stand," Mansoor said.
"But he regretted the incident having taken place although he said he had to take a stand for the sake of cricket. He also feared that because of the incident our careers would be affected."
Both Mansoor and his brother Maqsood played internationals for Pakistan and the former is now a batting coach at the Pakistan board`s national cricket academy.
"Our father called us up on the night of the incident and asked us if we felt he had taken the right stand. We told him do what you feel is right," Mansoor recalled.
"He was upset the incident would leave a mark on our careers and the sport."
In 2006, the two sides ran into further controversy when Pakistan forfeited the fourth test at the Oval after umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove penalised the Pakistani team for allegedly tampering with the ball.
The ball-tampering charge was later dismissed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) but the incident ended Australian Hair`s international career and led to captain Inzamam-ul-Haq being banned for four matches.
Pakistan have agreed to waive their fee from one of the two Twenty20 matches on the coming tour to compensate the ECB for the early finish of the 2006 test.
Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed told Reuters he was not expecting any problems in the series, which also includes four tests.
"We have a lot of support in England and I have managed teams here twice before, so we just want to focus on our cricket," he said.
BDST: 1701 HRS, JULY 28, 2010