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Old July 19, 2005, 09:07 PM
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The description of this incident goes as follows:

Playing in the first test at Perth, Pakistan were routed in their first innings for a total of 62, their lowest total till 2002, by the Australian pace of Dennis Lillee and Terry Alderman. In the second innings, they needed 543 to win, and that looked highly unlikely when they were at 27/2.

Amid the crowd chants of “Lill–ee–Kill–Lill-ee”, Javed Miandad and Mansoor Akhtar tried to resurrect the Pakistan innings; perhaps if their goal was not to win, it was at least to draw.

Miandad played Lillee to square leg and completed an easy run, with a collision taking place in the center. According to Miandad, Lillee had tried to block him in the path. After a verbal exchange, Lillee went ahead and kicked Miandad on his pads. Miandad, started charging towards Lillee with his bat lifted high above the head, as if to hit him. The umpire’s intervention prevented what could have turned out to be a real assault had Miandad gone head with his plans. However, the picture of Miandad hurling his bat at Lillee made the whole incident look even worse, and was promptly declared as the most indignified incident in the history of Cricket.

The Australian media immediately turned on Lillee, perhaps because of his already existing bad boy image. Past Australian cricketers like Keith Miller and Bob Simpson were most vociferous to blame Lillee. However, the then Australian Captain, Greg Chappel insisted that Miandad’s action were the most disgraceful and not Lillee’s, and that the Pakistani’s were trying to put Lillee under pressure with their tactics. He was perhaps pointing to the fact, that since there was no other way for the Pakistani’s to save the match, these were the antics they were falling back on.

Lillee was fined A$200 for the incident. Amid outcry from the public, the umpires and the cricketing world about the leniency of the punishment, the fine was decreased in cash to A$120 but a 2 match ban was also awarded to Lillee. It was common perception, that with there being 2 one day matches before the next test, the punishment had been awarded to ensure that Lillee was back for the next test match. The fines ensured that the Pakistan team, that was

Some circles in Pakistan also started asking Miandad to issue an apology to the Australian public the same way as Lillee had done. There was also talk of handing out a fine to Miandad, because he too had violated the code of conduct. All of these were infact, weird sentiments expressed by the Pakistani press and cricketing circles, given that Miandad had only responded to agitation by Lillee. There was no reason for him to apologize, or be fined. Luckily, neither took place.

Lillee’s version, to this day, had Miandad first hitting him with the bat, and then swearing at him. He maintained that there was no contact from his side throughout the incident.

Immediately after the end of this series, around 80% of the Pakistani team revolted against Miandad’s captaincy. The two incidents were however, not related; the team had been unhappy playing under Miandad even before the tour.

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