Pakistan refuse to take field after ball row

Published: Monday, August 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Pakistan failed to return to the field after tea on the fourth day of the fourth and final Test against England today after the touring side were accused of ball tampering.

Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove returned to the pavilion for further discussions, then returned to the middle a second time, this time followed by England batsmen Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell.

The bails were then removed, the covers brought on and the umpires and batsmen left the field again as the confusion continued.

Top officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Pakistan Cricket Board then met to discuss the situation as discontent grew amongst the crowd.

Umpires have the right to award a match to the opposition if they deem a side had refused to continue playing.

Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal was clearly visible reading a newspaper without his pads on as the umpires left The Oval pitch.

Earlier England were earlier given an extra five runs after the umpires ruled that the ball had been tampered with by Pakistan during the afternoon session.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq 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.

Play then continued without further incident until tea.

England lead the series 2-0 but Pakistan had looked on course for a consolation victory until the controversy exploded.

At tea the home side were on 298 for four in their second innings, still 33 runs short of making Pakistan bat again.

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