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September 27, 2006
It had been thought that it might take almost two days to hear the evidence, but it seems that all that remains is for closing submissions to be put forward on Thursday morning and then for Madugalle to deliberate and announce his findings. Although he has 24 hours to consider all the evidence put before him, few expect Madugalle to take anywhere near that long.
The hearing, which started at 9am on a grey morning, has been held behind closed doors. Madugalle was the first of the main characters to arrive, seeming surprised by the number of cameras and reports outside the Alec Stewart Gates at the north of the ground. Fifteen minutes later Billy Doctrove, Mike Procter and Doug Cowie, the ICC's umpire's manager, arrived in the same taxi. They were followed by Inzamam soon after, and Darrell Hair, the umpire in the spotlight, was the last to arrive, smiling at reporters and saying "good to see you all."
Meanwhile, the ICC confirmed that were Inzamam to be banned for ODIs and so miss the Champions Trophy then Pakistan would be allowed to replace him in their squad. Local media sources said vice-captain Younis Khan had been put on standby to lead the side in the Champions Trophy as the board anticipated the disrepute charges to be upheld.
If found guilty of ball-tampering, Inzamam faces a fine of between 50 and 100% of his match fee and could also be banned for one Test or two ODIs. On the second charge, a ban of between two and four Tests or four to eight ODIs is possible.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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