England v Pakistan, The Oval, 2006

ICC changes Oval forfeiture to draw

Cricinfo staff

July 3, 2008

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Darrell Hair awarded England five penalty runs in their second innings for ball tampering © AFP
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The ICC has changed the result of the controversial Oval Test between England and Pakistan in 2006 from an English victory to a draw, following pressure from the Pakistan Cricket Board during the annual ICC meeting in Dubai.

"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," the ICC said. "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."

Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was Pakistan's captain during the Test, welcomed the ICC's decision. "I am very happy about it. This decision and the fact that we were cleared of ball-tampering charges proves that we were correct in our stance," he said. "This proves that what happened there was because of one man (Darrell Hair). It is sad that he is still there."

The Test was originally awarded to England by umpire Darrell Hair after Pakistan did not come out to field after tea on the fourth day, following accusations of ball-tampering.

Pakistan had, at the time, been in a strong position in the match, having secured a first-innings lead of 331 and removed four England batsmen second-time around. There was nothing at stake in the series, with England already leading 2-0 after wins at Headingley and Old Trafford, but the eventual forfeiture was the first in the history of Test cricket. The removal of England's win could affect their standing in the ICC Test Championship - they are currently third on 110 points, one ahead of their next opponents, South Africa, on 109.

The result had huge off-field ramifications as well. Hair went on to be suspended from the ICC elite panel, and though that decision was overturned last year when he took his employers to the High Court in London, the initial decision formed the basis of Pakistan's appeal for a rethink of the result.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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