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Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, at the centre of the Oval Test controversy last year, on Saturday accused match officials of being harsh on teams from the subcontinent.

Inzamam was skipper when Pakistan protested over ball-tampering charges during the Oval match against England in August last year.

Pakistan refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day, after which the Test was awarded to England on forfeit. Inzamam was later cleared of tampering charges but was handed a ban of four one-day internationals.

"You have a number of cases where it's evident that they have come down harshly on players from the subcontinent, while others go scot-free," said Inzamam, who quit international cricket after last month's home Test against South Africa.

"Now that I have retired and I no longer come under the purview of the International Cricket Council, I can say that be it ball-tampering or slow over rates, officials are a little harsh towards subcontinental teams.

"Match referees do not give any favours to our teams."

Inzamam, with 8830 runs in 120 Tests and 11,739 one-day runs, also defended his decision to take his team off the field in the Oval Test.

"We were handed a five-run penalty but going by the book the umpires should have informed me beforehand. But I was not told of the decision and we decided to show our protest by leaving the ground," said Inzamam, 37.

"It was my decision, but I consulted my teammates beforehand. They were unanimous about it and there was no influence from any other quarters."

Inzamam, here as a television commentator for the India-Pakistan one-day series beginning in Guwahati on Monday, will take time out to play in the rebel India Cricket League (ICL) starting November 30.

The multi-million-dollar ICL will see Twenty20 matches played between franchised teams made up of international and local players.

Inzamam said he was shocked over India's decision to drop former captain Rahul Dravid for the first two one-day internationals against the visitors.

"Dravid is a great player and his axing was baffling. He brings in a lot of experience with him and that's something you badly need to win close matches. I think Pakistan will benefit from his absence," he said.

Inzamam also said seniors such as Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly still had a lot to offer to Indian cricket.

"It's up to the individual to decide when he wants to quit, but I don't think Sachin, Sourav or Dravid are too old to continue. They still have a lot of cricket left in them," he said.
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