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Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 16:30 UK

Oval Test result changed to draw

Darrell Hair
Darrell Hair was at the centre of the Oval 2006 controversy

The result of the controversial 2006 Oval Test between England and Pakistan has been changed to a draw.

The match was awarded to England when the Pakistan team delayed playing on after being accused of ball-tampering.

But the result was changed at the International Cricket Council Chief Executives' meeting in Dubai.

"The circumstances were unique and the result seemed inappropriate to the board," ICC general manager Dave Richardson told BBC Sport.

The proposal to amend the result had previously been rejected by the ICC cricket committee and Richardson acknowledged the about-turn by the senior board was setting a precedent and would probably "surprise a lot of cricketers".

But he said there would be no change to the laws of the game and added: "Hopefully we won't be confronted by something similar again."

Prior to the meeting, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar Khan, who was at the centre of the incident in 2006, said he "would welcome any decision to change the result".

Khan also told BBC Radio 5 Live he resented claims that his side refused to come out and play, adding they were merely delaying their decision to return to the field after being accused of ball tampering.

He said: "I do resent the comments that we refused to go out to play. We delayed coming out to play and informed the English Cricket Board (ECB) and referee three times that we were ready to return to the field."

Pakistan blamed Darrell Hair, one of the two on-field umpires on duty at The Oval, for the outcome of the game, which came to an end after tea on the fourth day with England on 293-4 in their second innings.

606: DEBATE

He and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove had earlier awarded England five penalty runs after ruling that the Pakistan team had been guilty of doctoring the ball to help it swing.

The game was awarded to England by forfeit, the first such result in Test history, giving them a 3-0 series victory - but this will now be changed to 2-0 in the record books.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was subsequently cleared of the ball-tampering charge by an ICC tribunal, although he was banned for four matches for bringing the game into disrepute by initially refusing to resume play.

In the aftermath of the match, Hair, from Australia, was dropped from the ICC's elite umpiring panel, and took them to an industrial tribunal, alleging racial discrimination.

But after a week of evidence, the case collapsed and the allegation was withdrawn, with no financial pay-off being made.

Pakistan later agreed to play a Twenty20 match in England in 2012 and waive their fee for that match by way of compensation for the loss of the fifth day's play in the Oval Test.

Since the case, Hair has been involved in an ICC umpiring development programme and returned to Test cricket during the recent England v New Zealand series.

It is, however, unlikely that he will be assigned to future matches involving Pakistan.




see also
Pakistan seek Oval result change
11 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Hair accused of blackmailing ICC
03 Oct 07 |  Cricket
Hair 'hell' over forfeited Test
01 Oct 07 |  Cricket
Is tampering law right?
28 Sep 06 |  Laws & Equipment
Disrepute ban for skipper Inzamam
28 Sep 06 |  Pakistan


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