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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Disrepute ban for skipper Inzamam
Inzamam's four-match ban is the least he could have been given
Inzamam's four-match ban is the least he could have been given
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been cleared of ball-tampering, but banned for four one-day internationals for bringing the game into disrepute.

He was found not guilty of cheating, but has been punished for his team's refusal to resume play in the fourth Test against England at The Oval.

The four-game ban was the minimum possible for the offence in question.

The charges followed the furore on 20 August which led to a Test being forfeited for the first time ever.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said afterwards: "We're very satisfied. We feel the whole process was very fair."

I don't wish to enter into any debate about racism, people can make their accusations but of course I deny them

Darrell Hair

The row had begun after umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan five runs for tampering with the ball in the 56th over of the fourth day's play.

Pakistan were incensed at the decision and after tea the team stayed in the dressing room in protest.

The umpires then removed the bails and despite calls to resume the Test it was forfeited - becoming the first match in the history of cricket to be so.

As captain of his team, Inzamam was charged by the International Cricket Council and appeared at a two-day code of conduct hearing chaired by senior match referee Ranjan Madugalle.

Madugalle said in a statement: "Having regard to the seriousness of the allegation of ball-tampering - it is an allegation of cheating - I am not satisfied on the balance of probabilities there is sufficiently cogent evidence the fielding team had changed the condition of the ball.

"In my judgement the marks are as consistent with normal wear and tear of a match ball after 56 overs as they are with deliberate human intervention."

TEST MATCH SPECIAL BLOG
Jonathan Agnew

Explaining how he arrived at the four-match ban for disrepute, he went on: "On two occasions [Inzamam] led a protest against the umpires by failing to come on to the field of play at the relevant time.

"I have taken into account Mr Ul-Haq's expression of regret and an apology and I take into account all the surrounding and mitigating circumstances."

Inzamam and the umpires were among 11 witnesses who gave evidence in the closed hearing.

The others were fourth umpire Trevor Jesty, match referee Mike Procter, ICC referees and umpires' manager Doug Cowie.

And for the defence Khan, Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer as well as three expert witnesses - Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and John Hampshire - gave evidence.

Inzamam has the right to appeal within 24 hours but has already said he is unlikely to do so.

He told GEO Television: "Since this is the minimum possible suspension I don't think we will appeal."

This means he will be ruled out of the ICC Champions Trophy, which will be held in India next month, unless Pakistan make the final - in which case he could appear in that.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said he believed that should be the end of the matter.

He said in a statement: "I'm content that the processes that have been put in place to deal with incidents that occur on the cricket field have been followed.

"The process is complete, the decisions have been made and I hope that all parties can move on and accept those decisions and put them behind them."



SEE ALSO
Pakistan 'vindicated' by verdict
28 Sep 06 |  Pakistan
Is tampering law right?
28 Sep 06 |  Laws & Equipment
Ball controversy timeline
21 Sep 06 |  Cricket
Waqar protests Pakistan innocence
22 Sep 06 |  Pakistan
Inzamam charged in cheating row
21 Aug 06 |  Cricket


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