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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pakistan forfeit 4th Test after ball row

Pakistan forfeit 4th Test after ball row

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August 21, 2006 07:23 IST

England were awarded the fourth and final Test on Sunday after Pakistan forfeited the match on a day of high farce and bitter recriminations following a ball-tampering storm.

Pakistan refused to return to the field after tea on day four at The Oval after Darrell Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove had earlier imposed a five-run penalty against them for ball-tampering and changed the ball.

When Pakistan did later take to the field, the umpires did not appear, leading to extensive negotiations that ended with the abandonment almost six hours after the drama began.

England win the four-Test series 3-0. Pakistan's forfeiture is unprecedented in Test history.

"In accordance with the laws of cricket it was noted that the umpires had correctly deemed that Pakistan had forfeited the match and awarded the Test to England," read a statement on behalf of the International Cricket Council, England and Wales Cricket Board and the Pakistan Cricket Board.

"The Pakistan team was aggrieved by the award of five penalty runs to England. The award of those penalty runs for alleged interference with the ball is under review by the ICC match referee Mike Procter, whose report will be considered in due course."

Pakistan's players, on course for a face-saving win, had been stunned during the afternoon session when the umpires took action.

They continued playing until tea, with England on 298 for four in their second innings and still 33 runs shy of making Pakistan bat again, when the fiasco exploded.

SEVERAL CONTROVERSIES

Hair, who has been involved in several controversies with teams from the sub-continent in the past, and Doctrove walked out to the middle alone, then returned to the pavilion as Pakistan's players staged a protest by remaining in the dressing room.

The umpires walked out again 15 minutes later, this time followed by England batsmen Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell, but Pakistan again failed to show. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal was clearly visible reading a newspaper without his pads on.

The situation took a new turn around 45 minutes after the scheduled restart when Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq led his side out, then straight back in, as this time the umpires did not emerge.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said Hair had entered the Pakistan dressing room after they had first failed to reappear and asked Inzamam if he was forfeiting the game.

Woolmer said Inzamam had countered by asking why the ball had been changed but Hair had refused to discuss the matter and left.

The ICC is due to issue a separate report "concerning action which may be taken in relation to the forfeiture of the match by Pakistan".

Pakistan Cricket Board head Shaharyar Khan, who consulted with ECB counterpart David Morgan, said: "From our point of view the boys were extremely upset at the slur of what happened. They wanted to register a protest with the match officials. We were going to stay off for just a few minutes."

He said Pakistan's players categorically denied they had tampered with the ball. "No one was consulted, no one was told... they felt deeply aggrieved."

Khan added he did not know what would happen to the one-day series against England due to start after the Tests.

Pakistan were upset when the umpires ruled the ball had been tampered with after Alastair Cook had been bowled by a reverse-swinging yorker from pace bowler Umar Gul.

Inzamam became embroiled in a heated exchange with the umpires before the England batsmen at the crease, Kevin Pietersen and Collingwood, were allowed to choose a replacement ball.

Hair first hit the headlines when he called Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in Australia in 1995-6.

Source:
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