Wellington:Kiwi umpires Tony Hill and Billy Bowden were sure that the no-balls bowled by Pakistani pacers during the Lord's Test were deliberate but thought the motive was to unsettle rival batsmen rather than spot-fixing.
Hill and Bowden had become the first New Zealand umpire pair to officiate at Lord's.
Hill said he and his colleague Bowden discussed the big no-ball bowled by Mohammad Amir but thought it was to unsettle Jonathan Trott.
"We never suspected a thing. There had been the big overstep in particular and in our minds that was more a deliberate overstep to have a go at Trott, who had been batting so well," Hill said.
"Billy and I chatted about that and thought it seemed deliberate, especially as it was dropped in short. But it all seemed to be one of those things that fast bowlers have been known to do to get an advantage."
Amir, Mohammed Asif and Test captain Salman Butt were provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council after the scam came to light through a British tabloid.
The trio has decided to contest the charges and have written to the ICC in that regard.
Hill stood at the end when Mohammad Asif overstepped by a small margin while Bowden was at the other end where Amir delivered his giant no ball.
"The one at my end from Asif was not a helluva lot over.
He is generally pretty accurate [with his front foot]. It is the Glenn McGrath type thing where the foot comes down always in the same spot
"When it alters slightly you think it is unusual but like McGrath, or anyone when they try harder, can occasionally go over," Hill said.
The Kiwi umpire said that whole saga kept them awake late in the night after the third day's play.
"We ended up with meetings the night before the last day.
As the story was breaking we were being kept up to speed. So rather than hitting the sack at 8.30pm as you tend to before another full day's play, we were still up at 10.30pm making sure we knew what was going on and what may or may not happen the next day.
"We had to make sure we had our head around all the circumstances that might turn up. It was quite weird."
Hill also recalled the haunting fourth day's morning in the middle which he said left a bad taste in the mouth as it deprived him of enjoying his first Test as an umpire at Lord's.
"It was very quiet out there. Both teams were very quiet.
You always expected something to be said out there but it wasn't. They just got on with playing the game. From our point of view it was a matter of trying to concentrate like hell so we weren't caught up in the moment.
"It was my first test at Lord's. It was a special place but it ended up being a game that will be remembered, but not for the right reasons," he said.