ICC board meeting February 1, 2009

ICC does U-turn on 2006 Oval Test result

Cricinfo staff
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The ICC board has decided to go by the rulebook © Getty Images
 

The ICC has decided to change the result of the controversial 2006 Oval Test between England and Pakistan from a draw to an English victory, reversing an earlier decision made last July. The ICC had then altered the result of the match from an England win - by virtue of a forfeit from Pakistan - to a draw. However, at its meeting this weekend in Perth, the ICC board agreed to act upon the MCC's recommendation that the original outcome of the match should stand.

"After reconsideration of the matter, which included consideration of legal advice and input from the MCC, the custodians of the laws of cricket, the board decided that the original umpires' decision to award the match to England, should apply," an ICC release said. "I'm gratified the board reached the conclusion it did as this ensures the integrity of the game and the laws of cricket have been upheld," the ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said. "I am especially grateful to the PCB for its understanding in this matter."

However, Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was the Pakistan captain at the time, considered the reversal of the decision as a "weakness of the ICC." "I think they [ICC] have made it a joke by changing the result and I don't rule out another change in the future," he told AFP. "The PCB has also failed to take a stand against this change and they were also weak in handling this matter."

The on-field umpires during that Test, Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove, had considered the match to be forfeited by Pakistan - the first in the history of Test cricket - after they refused to take the field post tea on the fourth day following accusations of ball-tampering. The result had huge off-field ramifications as well. Hair went on to be suspended from the ICC elite panel, though that decision was overturned in 2007 when he took his employers to the High Court in London.

The Pakistan board, represented by chairman Ijaz Butt in Perth, was expected to oppose the move - it was the pressure from the PCB that had prompted the switch in results in the first place. However, the ICC board seems to have been swayed by MCC's stance, one which had found favour with ICC president David Morgan as well.

"The ICC has no power under the laws of cricket to decide that results should be altered, whether it feels it's 'inappropriate' or otherwise," Tony Lewis, the chairman of the MCC's world cricket committee, had said in a statement in October. "The ICC's decision is wrong and sets a very dangerous precedent. Cricket is the worse for this decision."

Lewis welcomed the ICC's move to reverse the result. "We are pleased with ICC's decision to uphold the original umpire's ruling at the 2006 Oval Test match. While fully appreciating the sensitive nature of these discussions, and the issues surrounding them, MCC's unanimous viewpoint has always been that the umpire's decision must stand as Law 21.10 is unequivocal," he said. "Indeed, the ICC's own cricket committee shared our view."

The latest ruling meant England won the four-Test series 3-0 instead of 2-0.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NobbyUK on February 4, 2009, 13:22 GMT

    I'm glad this decision has been made. Whether Hair was right or wrong is immaterial. Sport cannot go around reversing umpires' or referees' decisions. Pakistan should have taken the decision and argued about it later. I am still bitter about it all - I, along with thousands of others, had a ticket for the last day of that test, the only ticket I managed to get for the whole summer's cricket.

  • Fenz on February 3, 2009, 20:44 GMT

    Throughout this entire debacle surrounding the Oval test match I could never understand why such attention was focussed on Darrel Hair. As an umpire he called it as he saw it and followed the laws of the game to the letter. In a game where players crave consistency in all decisions by the umpires, following the laws strictly is the only way this can be achieved. Let us not forget that the match was not forfeited due to allegations of ball tampering by Hair, but by the Pakistan team's refusal to take the field in protest of the decision. The original alteration of the result by the ICC set a dangerous precedent, leaving the door open for any results influenced by umpiring deemed unsatisfactory, to be changed. Their reversal of this mistake is a recognition of this being a possibility.

    At the end of the day the issue is two years old. As they say its time to accept the umpires decision and move on with life and cricket.

  • N.R.Miranda on February 2, 2009, 19:02 GMT

    What ever said and done HAT'S OFF TO PAKISTAN for standing for what is right and was unfair against them. It is time someone told the ICC what is right and wrong.

  • anandagg on February 2, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    The original decision should have never been overturned earlier anyways. This is probably the only case of two wrongs making one right!!

  • saame on February 2, 2009, 6:13 GMT

    I think it's the right decision nice to see the ICC getting something right now it's time to sort out the problems with the ICL and Zimababwe

  • Sudzz on February 2, 2009, 4:21 GMT

    So now Mr. Hair stands vindicated? it means his call was right in the first place? by the same token his call on Murali must also have been right?

    ICC continues in its best tradition of flippin and floppin all around, this deserves a round of applause.....

  • Looch on February 2, 2009, 2:33 GMT

    This decision is correct. Inzamam and the Pakistan leadership group made a childish and uninformed decision and have finally paid for it. Maybe they should take a rule book with them next time they take to the field.

  • RADB on February 2, 2009, 0:09 GMT

    I was absolutely astounded, shocked and saddened when the original result was reversed. Pakistan's reason for pushing for the result change was that they were cleared of ball-tampering. But regardless of whether or not they tampered with the ball, that was not the reason they forfeited the match. It was for their subsequent petulant, childish, infantile behaviour, for which Inzamam got off very lightly. I could not believe that the ICC did not see this the first time around. And as for the Darrell Hair affair, the way he was treated sickens me. An umpire having to go into hiding for applying the letter of the law correctly is a sad state of affairs. Anyway, 2 umpires, 2 decisions. Why did no one even mention Billy Doctrove?

  • ShoaibuRehman on February 1, 2009, 21:31 GMT

    Thank you very much ICC for supporting Pakistan when its having its crises.

    May be tommorow you can also take away the membership as Pakistan did not play a test match in the year 2008.

    Add a new rule in your Law Book, "If a team does not play a test match in 365 calender days then its membership will automatically be cancelled for the next 2 years".

    Then when it will be accepted as a rule, everyone can say RULES ARE RULES.

    Nobody looks at the reason why did Pakistan forfeit the test on the first place. They want to follow the same rule that UMPIRES DECISION IS FINAL. Nobody is considering the fact that Umpires are also human and can make errors (which in this case, is a proven fact that they did mistake).

  • Gilli-Danda on February 1, 2009, 20:29 GMT

    I have slowly arrived at the conclusion that the ICC is a toothless organization, staffed by a bunch of inept, spineless morons whose presence does not do the game of Cricket any good.

    Regarding the ICC about-face with the result of the 2006 Oval Test:- Was Pakistan found GUILTY of ball-tampering? Was any evidence produced to convict them of this serious charge?

    If the answer to these questions is an unequivocal NO, then the ICC's original decision must stand

  • NobbyUK on February 4, 2009, 13:22 GMT

    I'm glad this decision has been made. Whether Hair was right or wrong is immaterial. Sport cannot go around reversing umpires' or referees' decisions. Pakistan should have taken the decision and argued about it later. I am still bitter about it all - I, along with thousands of others, had a ticket for the last day of that test, the only ticket I managed to get for the whole summer's cricket.

  • Fenz on February 3, 2009, 20:44 GMT

    Throughout this entire debacle surrounding the Oval test match I could never understand why such attention was focussed on Darrel Hair. As an umpire he called it as he saw it and followed the laws of the game to the letter. In a game where players crave consistency in all decisions by the umpires, following the laws strictly is the only way this can be achieved. Let us not forget that the match was not forfeited due to allegations of ball tampering by Hair, but by the Pakistan team's refusal to take the field in protest of the decision. The original alteration of the result by the ICC set a dangerous precedent, leaving the door open for any results influenced by umpiring deemed unsatisfactory, to be changed. Their reversal of this mistake is a recognition of this being a possibility.

    At the end of the day the issue is two years old. As they say its time to accept the umpires decision and move on with life and cricket.

  • N.R.Miranda on February 2, 2009, 19:02 GMT

    What ever said and done HAT'S OFF TO PAKISTAN for standing for what is right and was unfair against them. It is time someone told the ICC what is right and wrong.

  • anandagg on February 2, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    The original decision should have never been overturned earlier anyways. This is probably the only case of two wrongs making one right!!

  • saame on February 2, 2009, 6:13 GMT

    I think it's the right decision nice to see the ICC getting something right now it's time to sort out the problems with the ICL and Zimababwe

  • Sudzz on February 2, 2009, 4:21 GMT

    So now Mr. Hair stands vindicated? it means his call was right in the first place? by the same token his call on Murali must also have been right?

    ICC continues in its best tradition of flippin and floppin all around, this deserves a round of applause.....

  • Looch on February 2, 2009, 2:33 GMT

    This decision is correct. Inzamam and the Pakistan leadership group made a childish and uninformed decision and have finally paid for it. Maybe they should take a rule book with them next time they take to the field.

  • RADB on February 2, 2009, 0:09 GMT

    I was absolutely astounded, shocked and saddened when the original result was reversed. Pakistan's reason for pushing for the result change was that they were cleared of ball-tampering. But regardless of whether or not they tampered with the ball, that was not the reason they forfeited the match. It was for their subsequent petulant, childish, infantile behaviour, for which Inzamam got off very lightly. I could not believe that the ICC did not see this the first time around. And as for the Darrell Hair affair, the way he was treated sickens me. An umpire having to go into hiding for applying the letter of the law correctly is a sad state of affairs. Anyway, 2 umpires, 2 decisions. Why did no one even mention Billy Doctrove?

  • ShoaibuRehman on February 1, 2009, 21:31 GMT

    Thank you very much ICC for supporting Pakistan when its having its crises.

    May be tommorow you can also take away the membership as Pakistan did not play a test match in the year 2008.

    Add a new rule in your Law Book, "If a team does not play a test match in 365 calender days then its membership will automatically be cancelled for the next 2 years".

    Then when it will be accepted as a rule, everyone can say RULES ARE RULES.

    Nobody looks at the reason why did Pakistan forfeit the test on the first place. They want to follow the same rule that UMPIRES DECISION IS FINAL. Nobody is considering the fact that Umpires are also human and can make errors (which in this case, is a proven fact that they did mistake).

  • Gilli-Danda on February 1, 2009, 20:29 GMT

    I have slowly arrived at the conclusion that the ICC is a toothless organization, staffed by a bunch of inept, spineless morons whose presence does not do the game of Cricket any good.

    Regarding the ICC about-face with the result of the 2006 Oval Test:- Was Pakistan found GUILTY of ball-tampering? Was any evidence produced to convict them of this serious charge?

    If the answer to these questions is an unequivocal NO, then the ICC's original decision must stand

  • Jazyt69 on February 1, 2009, 20:13 GMT

    To TheThreeWs,

    I think you should understand that the BCCI are not out to get Pakistan, these are political issues, nothing to do with BCCI.

    If BCCI was out to get Pakistan why would they let Pakistani players play in th IPL?

    India and Pakistan players have always had a good relationship, but this is clouded by circumstances beyond they control.

    I wish everyone would just live and let live.

    Peace to all

    Jaz

  • pakistanigirl20 on February 1, 2009, 20:00 GMT

    Pakistan doesn't care a damn about these decisions. we r proud of Pakistan decision during oval test 2006. We can do anything just 4 the sake of our pride.Good luck Pakistan.ICC kindly concentrate on ICL matter instead of these ordinary matters

  • Roytil on February 1, 2009, 19:41 GMT

    Rules are rules!! Like anything in life!!

  • -Hilal- on February 1, 2009, 19:15 GMT

    It's hard to understand why Darrel Hair's mishandling of the entire situation should cost Pakistan a Test match?

  • TheThreeWs on February 1, 2009, 19:13 GMT

    The reversal of the ruling has nothing to do with the MCC rules and more with 26/11. If MCC ruled the game, the game would have been automatically awarded to England. It was declared a draw because Pakistan was India's friend in 2006. After the Mumbai attacks on 26/11, the BCCI is out to impose cricketing sanctions on Pakistan. India won't play in Pakistan, no Champions trophy in Pakistan.

  • fmrana on February 1, 2009, 18:26 GMT

    The ICC continues it's tradition of flip flopping on issues. If the ICC was so convinced about the decision then they should not have taken it in the first place. Somebody needs to put their hand up and say...I goofed up.

  • N.R.Miranda on February 1, 2009, 18:07 GMT

    It is good that ICC is going back to the so called correct decision. But it only confirms that ICC still does not have a back bone to be on one stand. If this continues it is not long when ICC will be over taken by IPL or ICL.

  • kingofspain on February 1, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    Pakistan have no one to blame but themselves. They were in a commanding position in this match, then decided to be precious. If one side refuse to continue playing, it seems like a straight forward decision to me.

  • PaddyBriggs on February 1, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    Good - now for a U turn on the "ICC Super Series". The ICC decided that the commercial prospects of the "ICC Super Series" would be enhanced if the matches were given the same status as official contests between countries and that performances in them would count in the Test and ODI records of the players who took part. This "decision" flew in the face of precedent and logic - the late great Bill Frindall called it "witless" and argued, irrefutably one would have thought that the international records should only cover "contests between nations".

    The best tribute that the ICC could pay to Bill would be to recognise that Bill was one hundred percent right. Cricket's international records should now officially be revised to exclude these matches - the Bearded Wonder would smile forever in eternity if common-sense prevails in this way!

  • Aghulamali on February 1, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    In my opinion the decision is correct. Umpires decision should be final decision.There should no grudges to Pakistan ans accept the ICC decision in sportsmen spirit.

  • OliverChettle on February 1, 2009, 15:36 GMT

    This was a straightforward issue. Either the ICC could behave like a credible sporting body and reward the game to England, or it could allow itself to be a political football. The only argument for awarding a draw is to claim that Pakistan was once a British colony so it should be treated better than England because it is a "victim" of history ("victimhood" being the left-liberal equivalent of saintliness in this decadent politically correct post-colonial world). Well, England was once a Roman colony, and that's just as relevant to the decision as the Raj.

  • Kandyman on February 1, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    Good on them for finally doing SOMETHING right! Now for some more - lets start with this ridiculous banning of ICL players.. come on ICC!

  • tomo73 on February 1, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    Definitely, no team are bigger than the laws of the game. They obviously felt they could intimidate the umpires and match referee, good on them for standing their ground.

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  • tomo73 on February 1, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    Definitely, no team are bigger than the laws of the game. They obviously felt they could intimidate the umpires and match referee, good on them for standing their ground.

  • Kandyman on February 1, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    Good on them for finally doing SOMETHING right! Now for some more - lets start with this ridiculous banning of ICL players.. come on ICC!

  • OliverChettle on February 1, 2009, 15:36 GMT

    This was a straightforward issue. Either the ICC could behave like a credible sporting body and reward the game to England, or it could allow itself to be a political football. The only argument for awarding a draw is to claim that Pakistan was once a British colony so it should be treated better than England because it is a "victim" of history ("victimhood" being the left-liberal equivalent of saintliness in this decadent politically correct post-colonial world). Well, England was once a Roman colony, and that's just as relevant to the decision as the Raj.

  • Aghulamali on February 1, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    In my opinion the decision is correct. Umpires decision should be final decision.There should no grudges to Pakistan ans accept the ICC decision in sportsmen spirit.

  • PaddyBriggs on February 1, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    Good - now for a U turn on the "ICC Super Series". The ICC decided that the commercial prospects of the "ICC Super Series" would be enhanced if the matches were given the same status as official contests between countries and that performances in them would count in the Test and ODI records of the players who took part. This "decision" flew in the face of precedent and logic - the late great Bill Frindall called it "witless" and argued, irrefutably one would have thought that the international records should only cover "contests between nations".

    The best tribute that the ICC could pay to Bill would be to recognise that Bill was one hundred percent right. Cricket's international records should now officially be revised to exclude these matches - the Bearded Wonder would smile forever in eternity if common-sense prevails in this way!

  • kingofspain on February 1, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    Pakistan have no one to blame but themselves. They were in a commanding position in this match, then decided to be precious. If one side refuse to continue playing, it seems like a straight forward decision to me.

  • N.R.Miranda on February 1, 2009, 18:07 GMT

    It is good that ICC is going back to the so called correct decision. But it only confirms that ICC still does not have a back bone to be on one stand. If this continues it is not long when ICC will be over taken by IPL or ICL.

  • fmrana on February 1, 2009, 18:26 GMT

    The ICC continues it's tradition of flip flopping on issues. If the ICC was so convinced about the decision then they should not have taken it in the first place. Somebody needs to put their hand up and say...I goofed up.

  • TheThreeWs on February 1, 2009, 19:13 GMT

    The reversal of the ruling has nothing to do with the MCC rules and more with 26/11. If MCC ruled the game, the game would have been automatically awarded to England. It was declared a draw because Pakistan was India's friend in 2006. After the Mumbai attacks on 26/11, the BCCI is out to impose cricketing sanctions on Pakistan. India won't play in Pakistan, no Champions trophy in Pakistan.

  • -Hilal- on February 1, 2009, 19:15 GMT

    It's hard to understand why Darrel Hair's mishandling of the entire situation should cost Pakistan a Test match?