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Double standards are still alive: Akram

"I don't believe we are cheats and the rest of the world is practising the art of reverse swing," he said. Mysterious art of reverse swing baffles experts

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 20:54 IST

Former captain Wasim Akram has accused the non-Asian countries of adopting double standards in defining ball-tampering and said it was unfair to label Pakistan as "cheats" simply because they had mastered the art of reverse swing.

"When Pakistan make the old ball swing it's called ball-tampering, but when everyone else does it, it's called reverse swing," Akram, the first bowler to get mired in the ball-tampering scandal, said.

"Double standards are still alive and well in Test cricket. Where reverse swing is concerned, I don't believe we are cheats and the rest of the world is practising an art form," he was quoted as saying by The Mirror on Thursday.

Akram, who took 916 wickets in Tests and one-day internationals, said he could never dream of calling Andrew Flintoff a cheat in England's Ashes win.

"Like many neutrals, I was pleased when England won the Ashes, a result achieved partly because Flintoff and Simon Jones enjoyed reverse swing, yet nobody asked how they did it.

"I wouldn't dream of accusing England of cheating, especially someone like Freddie, a former Lancashire team-mate and a good friend who I respect so much. But I thought the demon of ball-tampering had gone away until Pakistan were accused of it again at The Oval..."

Akram, who went through a similar humiliation 14 years ago, said "since then I thought there was a greater understanding of reverse swing and how to achieve it - until the other day at The Oval."

Akram said Pakistan should wait to clear captain Inzamam-ul Haq's name from the charge of ball-tampering and bringing the game into disrepute.

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