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PCB launches fresh probe on Oval test

cricket Updated: Feb 13, 2009 15:32 IST

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Former test captain Aamir Sohail will head a three-member committee appointed by the Pakistan Cricket Board to look once again into The Oval test fiasco of 2006. The PCB's probe comes after the International Cricket Council again amended the result of the August 2006 England-Pakistan test at The Oval. Initially ruled a Pakistan forfeit and England victory, the result was officially changed to a draw before the ICC ruled last month that it would revert to the initial ruling. "There's a hue and cry everywhere (about The Oval test) and we will look into this before submitting our findings to the PCB," Sohail told The Associated Press on Friday.

Sohail, who is presently working as director of the National Cricket Academy, will be joined on the committee by the PCB human resources director and former test wicketkeeper Wasim Bari, plus the PCB's domestic cricket director Sultan Rana.

At the test in question, Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq refused to continue play on the fourth day in protest at his side being docked runs for allegedly tampering with the ball. Umpires at the match ruled that it was a forfeit.

The ICC then reversed that decision in July last year, officially recording it as "match abandoned as a draw".

However, the Marylebone Cricket Club, which is the independent governor of cricket's laws, recommended in October that the ICC overturn the draw and restore England's victory. The ICC did so at a meeting in Australia last month.

"We will seek all the relevant documents on this issue from the ICC while most of the details are available even on the internet," Sohail said.

"I can't give you the exact timeframe of completion of our work but we will try to do it quickly."

When asked if then manager of the team Zaheer Abbas, Inzamam and then PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, who was also present at The Oval, will be questioned by the committee, Sohail said: "It depends, if it is needed."

A leading English daily newspaper The News reported Friday that the committee was constituted on the "verbal instructions" of the Pakistan's sports ministry.

"What happened at The Oval....has got far greater implications than it apparently looks," secretary sports Ashraf Khan was quoted as saying.

"The walkout by the Pakistan team definitely left a bad impression. No one knows who was responsible for such an extreme step."

Khan told the newspaper that "those who were guilty of forfeiting the test should be exposed."