Inzamam banned for four one-day matches

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been cleared of ball tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC) today but banned for four One-day matches for bringing cricket into disrepute.

The ban follows Pakistan's refusal to take the field after tea on the fourth day of the fourth Test against England at The Oval last month after they had been penalised five runs for alleged ball tampering.

England were awarded the match on a forfeit for the first time in the history of Test cricket.

In a statement at the conclusion of a two-day ICC code of conduct hearing today, match referee Ranjan Madugalle said Inzamam had been found not guilty of ball tampering.

But he said the Pakistan skipper had been found guilty of a level three ICC rule and would be banned for four one-day internationals.

''Mr Ul-Haq has been found guilty of deliberately refusing to come on to the field on two occasions as a protest against the umpires, so interrupting play,'' the statement said.

''I decide the Mr Ul-Haq should be banned for four One-day international matches.'' Pakistan's protest followed a decision by umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove to change the ball and penalise Pakistan five runs for alleged ball tampering.

Pakistan were particularly incensed at Hair's role at The Oval and their cricket board have asked the ICC to ensure that Hair does not officiate at any more of their matches.

This week the Indian cricket board asked the ICC to omit Hair from the panel for next month's Champions Trophy in India.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said last month the team had lost confidence in Hair after a long history of acrimony between the Australian and Asian teams.

Days after the match was called off Hair was involved in further controversy when the ICC revealed that he had asked them for 500,000 dollars in return for retiring from the elite umpires' panel.

Hair and Doctrove were two of the 11 witnesses called to attend the ICC hearing.

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