England awarded Oval Test as Pakistan forfeited

Published: Monday, August 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai: The fourth Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval has been awarded to England after the touring side refused to return to the field in the post tea session in protest against the ball tampering controversy.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) in a staetement today said it backed the decision of the umpires.

Umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair deemed Pakistan to have forfeited the match in accordance with Law 21.3 which allows umpires to award a match against the side which concedes defeat or refuses to play.

This followed the umpires' awarding of five penalty runs to England during the second session of the fourth day after alleged interference with the match ball by the fielding side.

Subsequent to the umpires' decision to award the match to England, a series of meetings took place to try and arrive at a situation that was in the best interests of the match and the game of cricket, the ICC statement said.

The meetings involved match referee Mike Procter, the two captains Andrew Strauss of England and Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq, umpires Doctrove and Hair, England Head Coach Duncan Fletcher and Pakistan Team Manager Zaheer Abbas, Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) David Morgan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan and ECB Chief Executive David Collier.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed also spoke to umpire Hair by phone from here.

Following the meetings the umpires decided that, having made the decision to award the match to England, to change that decision would not be in keeping with the Laws of Cricket.

The issue of a charge or charges to be laid against Pakistan under the ICC's Code of Conduct will now be dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity, the statement added.

Pakistan has been charged under Level two of the Code of Conduct 2.10, which relates to changing the condition of the match ball.

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