Pakistan in England / News

Oval cancellation leaves ECB out of pocket

English authorities face £400,000 loss

Cricinfo staff

August 22, 2006

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A deserted Oval on Monday © Getty Images
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Despite assurances on Monday that the premature end to the Oval Test would not leave English cricket out of pocket, it has emerged that the ECB's decision to refund 40% of the ticket price to those who attended The Oval on Sunday will cost it around £400,000.

The full refunds being paid to around 11,000 people who had bought tickets for the fifth day's play (further instructions are on the backs of tickets and by calling 08712 461100) will be covered by insurance.

"All this is beyond our control," explained Paul Sheldon, Surrey's chief executive. "Our job is to provide the ground, make sure the pitch is good and that the spectators have a good and safe time. We're not the regulators of international rules or the finer points of the series."

With the fifth day, Monday, not covered by their insurers, it remains to be seen whether the ECB will seek recompense from their Pakistan counterparts. Colin Gibson, ECB head of communications, declined to comment this afternoon. It is also possible that Surrey might face claims from concession stalls inside the ground as many opened for business as usual on Monday, seemingly unaware that the game had been called off.

Sheldon dismissed criticism that the crowd at The Oval were kept in the dark on Sunday. "There were such sensitive discussions going on, so many parties and such legal and financial implications to saying anything," he told the BBC. "We were conscious the crowd was entitled to know more but from a legal and financial perspective it just wasn't possible."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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