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ICC turn Pakistan forfeit into draw

The International Cricket Council has ruled that the forfeited Test between Pakistan and England in 2006 due to a ball-tampering row will be changed from an English win to a draw.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Dubai
UPDATED ON JUL 04, 2008 01:38 AM IST

The result of Pakistan's forfeited Test match at The Oval in 2006 has been changed from an England win to a draw, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced in Dubai on Thursday.

What was the first and only forfeit in the history of Test cricket took place at The Oval in August 2006 when Australian umpire Darrell Hair and his West Indian colleague Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan five penalty runs for alleged ball-tampering.

That sparked an angry response from Pakistan, who refused to take the field after tea on the fourth day in protest -- a move that saw the umpires declare they'd forfeited the match and award it to England.

In a statement issued after a board meeting at its Dubai headquarters, the ICC said: "The board decided the result of the match should be altered. The change is from an England win as a result of Pakistan's refusal to play to the match being termed abandoned as a draw."

It added: "The board's decision is based on the view that in light of the unique set of circumstances the original result was felt to be inappropriate."

The match, which came to its controversial climax after tea on the fourth day, was the fourth and final Test of the series.

The ICC added that its decision to change the match result also had implications for the series: "This means the series result is altered from 3-0 to England to 2-0."

However, their statement also said: "All players' performances in the match are unaffected."

An ICC spokesman told AFP that the change of result would have some effect on their Test championship. The table is due to be updated soon with results from the last two years still counting towards the current standings.

As the Oval match falls within that two-year time frame, it will still have some bearing on the table although the spokesman was uanble to say exactly how.

England, ahead of their series with South Africa which starts next week, are third in the standings - a point ahead of the Proteas.

After the Oval match, the since-retired Inzamam was cleared of all ball tampering charged. As captain, he was deemed to be representing the whole side and that meant none of his team-mates were charged with ball-tampering.

Hair was blamed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the forfeit as a result of his actions and they successfully campaigned for his removal from the ICC's elite panel of umpires.

He was only reinstated as a Test umpire earlier this year after a lengthy and messy legal battle which saw Hair allege he was the victim of racial discrimation by the ICC before dropping his case at an employment tribunal hearing in London.

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