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Former PCB chief cautions ICC over reversing Oval Test result

Cricinfo staff

October 30, 2008

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Shahryar Khan: "Maybe [David] Morgan was not happy when the decision was changed from a forfeit to a draw at the ICC board's meeting, but then it was a unanimous decision and it should stay" © Getty Images
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Shahryar Khan, the former PCB chairman, has cautioned the ICC against overturning the result of the controversial England-Pakistan Test at The Oval in 2006, now a draw, back to a forfeit.

"The ICC will only make fun of itself and it will leave them in a very awkward position," Shahryar told the Associated Press. The Pakistan board is currently awaiting the ICC's reaction to the MCC's recommendation that the result of the Oval Test be reversed and awarded to England.

The match was initially forfeited by Pakistan, after they refused to take the field, but the ICC changed the result to a draw at an executive board meeting in July this year. The series result was hence changed from 3-0 to 2-0 in favour of England.

Following the MCC world cricket committee's statement, ICC president David Morgan said it was a decision that he was not happy with and didn't believe "it was appropriate to change the result." Tony Lewis, the chairman of the MCC committee, said the reversal had set a "dangerous precedent and cricket would only be worse off for this decision".

Shahryar, who was the PCB chairman at the time of the Oval Test, however believed the decision to change the result was unanimous. "It's not a matter that whether the changed decision was right or wrong. Maybe Morgan was not happy when the decision was changed from a forfeit to a draw at the ICC board's meeting, but then it was a unanimous decision and it should stay."

He recommended the ICC should have a body in place to addresses such issues. "It's better that the ICC should now form a high-profile committee that includes former Test players like Clive Lloyd and even invite representatives of MCC to address such issues once and for all. I had advised the ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed at that time [to form a committee], but it didn't materialise."

Shahryar, who was at The Oval for the match, said the on-field umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove made a mistake in awarding the Test to England. "The umpires made a wrong decision at that time and even the referee [Mike Procter] was interested in resuming the play on the fifth day."

Pakistan were accused of ball-tampering by the umpires. Led by Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain then, the team staged a protest by refusing to play after tea on the fourth day. Hair and Doctrove, under the laws, ruled the match as a forfeit. Pakistan were later cleared of the ball-tampering charges but Inzamam was banned for four matches for bringing the game into disrepute.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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