Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer says he is determined to give his full attention to preparing a team to face England - despite having to respond to another instalment of ball-tampering controversy.
Before he could oversee Pakistan's practice, Woolmer found himself instead reacting to claims that South Africa players lifted the seam when he was their coach almost a decade ago.
As he tried to formulate a plan for his novice Twenty20 charges in today's match against England at Bristol, Woolmer was beset by questions about the recollections of former International Cricket Council match referee Barry Jarman.
The allegation is that during a triangular one-day tournament involving South Africa, Zimbabwe and India in early 1997 a match ball confiscated after just 16 overs - still in Jarman's possession - bears the ravages of tampering by Woolmer's team.
At a loss to recall anything of the sort, the coach said: "I just cannot and do not under-stand why Barry Jarman has said this. As far as I'm concerned, it's fiction.
"As far as I know, I don't ever remember a ball being taken off after the 16th over. I surely would have remembered it.
"I wasn't ball-scratching. I'm the coach. What does he think...that I teach ball-scratching?"
A mystified Woolmer has even taken the step of contacting the officials in the match he believes is in question - and he reports they a re unaware of any wrong-doing.
"Go and ask the two umpires in the same game that I'm supposed to have done this," he advised. "They will say that they don't know anything about it."
Woolmer, echoing the hopes of England captain Andrew Strauss, believes a return to the field of play can help mark a watershed which pushes the ball-tampering crisis of the past week off the front of the agenda.
It is highly debatable whether that is realistic - particularly in light of the counter-claims from umpire Darrell Hair, that he spoke to his employers at the ICC before he embarked on his infamous offer to resign his position in return for 500,000 US dollars in "compensation".
The remarks from Hair are at odds with assurances from ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed that he knew nothing of
the umpire's intentions until he read an internal email brought to his attention by middle-management within the world governing body.
Hair insisted: "It wasn't a spur-of-the-moment thing. I had dialogue with them.
"That was understood. I didn't go off the cuff. [Umpires' boss] Doug Cowie even said in his email reply to my offer that the proposal had merit."
Even with ICC charges of ball-tampering and bringing cricket into disrepute still hanging over Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq - and an emergency board meeting scheduled next weekend in Dubai - Woolmer is determined to set such thoughts aside.
"We want to play cricket, entertain everyone as much as we can and win this series," he said.
Woolmer's plans seem likely to include fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who has played for his country only once since ankle surgery earlier this year. He appeared to be clicking into gear from the evidence available in net practice at Bristol yesterday.