ICC again awards England Oval Test on forfeit
by AFP

Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 2nd February 2009


England has once again been awarded the controversial 2006 Oval Test against Pakistan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced here Sunday.


The match was originally awarded to England when umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair ruled that Pakistan had forfeited the match by refusing to take the field after tea on the fourth day following accusations of ball tampering.


But pressure from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) saw the result of the Test match changed from an England win to a draw by "match abandoned" by the ICC in July.


However, a two-day meeting of the ICC board here reversed that decision, after pressure from Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which said it believed the move contravened the laws of cricket and set a "very dangerous" precedent.


ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said here Sunday the decision reflected the necessity of upholding the laws of cricket.


"The board considered it at length and in the end decided to revert back to the original result," Lorgat said.


"There was considered discussion this time, there was input from the MCC, there was legal opinion that was considered.


"There was a realisation for the laws of the game and the integrity of the game, and all things considered, the board decided that the original result must stand."


Pakistan's board representative Ijaz Butt was involved in the discussions here. Lorgat said the PCB had been measured in their response, but he was fully expecting the ICC to come in for criticism for the backflip.


"We are grateful that the PCB at the meeting was considered about it," he said.


"I have no doubt that there will be some disapproval back in Pakistan, but I think the board wanted to ensure that the laws of cricket were upheld."


The saga began when Hair and Doctrove penalised Pakistan five penalty runs for alleged ball-tampering.


Pakistan refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day in protest and the umpires awarded the first forfeit in Test cricket history.


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq was subsequently cleared of ball tampering, while Hair was removed from the ICC's elite panel of umpires.


Hair was reinstated as a Test umpire last year after a legal battle which saw him allege he was the victim of racial discrimination by the ICC.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)


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