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Aug 26, 2006 at 08:09pm IST

'ICC had to reveal Hair's e-mail'

London: The ball-tampering controversy took an unexpected turn on Friday with the ICC revealing that umpire Darrell Hair offered to quit in return for $500,000.

In an exclusive interview, CNN-IBN's Akanksha Banerjee asked ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed for his take and the reason he made Hair's e-mail public. CNN-IBN asked him why details of Hair's e-mail were disclosed.

Malcolm Speed: We are in a difficult position, but once the e-mails were in our possession, if we form the view that they were potentially material to the issues between the ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, we are under a legal duty to disclose them. Our other alternative was simply to cover them up and destroy them. I wasn't prepared to do that, I wouldn't expect anyone to do that.

Akanksha Banerjee: What is expected to come out of Saturday's meeting, and what is really on the agenda? Is it only the hearing date or what else is on the agenda next week?

Malcolm Speed: The agenda is that we will report to the board, I expect that it will be the ICC President Mr (Percy) Sonn, David Richardson the Cricket Manager and myself. We will report to the board about this incident, what has happened and we will seek the board's adive as to how we should go forward. I don't quite know how far that will go. But we need to obtain some legal advice for the course of the week. We will obtain the best legal advice that's available and we'll move forward.

Akanksha Banerjee: Finally, your thoughts on the fact that Pakistan have agreed to play the rest of the series. Is it a relief, or how close were we to having the whole tour cancelled? And then, what happened to them in the last minute that made them change their mind?

Malcolm Speed: I think the decision was probably made yesterday that they were going to go ahead with the series. I'm very pleased that it will happen. I think that there have been a lot of over reactions about this issue and a lot of thigs have been blown out of proportion. I would have liked to have seen all this being managed very differently in a number of respects. I am delighted that we haven't had another reaction, I hope we have a great series. I wouldn't offer any opinion as to who I would like to see winning. But I hope it's a great series and I look forward to seeing the results next week.

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