The Oval Test controversy February 13, 2009

PCB looks into Oval Test again

Cricinfo staff
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Aamer Sohail could meet the key actors from 2006, including Inzamam-ul-Haq and Zaheer Abbas © Getty Images
 

Refusing to let a dead dog lie, the Pakistan Cricket Board has set up a three-man panel to look once again at the Oval Test of 2006 whose result the ICC has changed twice. The Test was initially awarded to England after Pakistan forfeited following allegations of ball-tampering. The ICC changed the result to a draw last July under pressure from the PCB only to revert to an England win earlier this month.

The committee will be headed by former Test opener and director of the National Cricket Academy, Aamir Sohail, and will include Wasim Bari, director HR and administration PCB, and Sultan Rana, director domestic cricket. The panel may be expanded to include an international umpire as well.

Sohail may meet the key players of that fateful fourth day of the Oval Test, when Inzamam-ul-Haq, the then Pakistan captain, refused to take the field after tea. Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove had penalised Pakistan for ball-tampering, a decision which incensed Inzamam and led to his no-show. Sohail will be hoping to meet Inzamam as well as Shaharyar Khan, who was PCB chairman at the time, and Zaheer Abbas, the team manager.

"We have set up a committee to look into the result again," Salim Altaf, chief operating officer PCB, told Cricinfo. "We want to clear some misperceptions in the public about the recent result change and get the facts out into the open."

The decision to set up a panel follows criticism of the present administration over its 'perceived' failure to prevent the result from being overturned again at a recent ICC meeting. The world's governing body had changed the original result last year, a move which prompted criticism from the MCC, the guardians of the game's laws.

Legal opinion was sought about whether such a change was permissible under the laws and when it was found that it wasn't, the move to switch back the result took place.

Privately, board officials have acknowledged that the issue is now "dead and buried" and another committee will not change that. But a sudden ratcheting up of criticism of the present board has led the sports ministry to suggest that they take some kind of action or at least be seen to be taking some action. No timeframe has been set for the committee to come up with its findings.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY BlueEagle on | February 14, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    The fact that Pakistan were ahead (and most likely, going to win) is irrelevant, as is the fact Inzamam wouldn't have wanted a loss. The fact is they refused to play.

    Calling the umpires into question for a supposed failure to communicate is rather shortsighted, since it's not like the Pakistan team said a word until the game had been called off. Besides, is sitting in the dressing room silently sulking really the best, and most mature, way to protest?

    And when was Inzamam called for throwing during this whole saga? He didn't even bowl :|

  • POSTED BY gul_khan on | February 14, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    Let me start by saying, I am a fanatical pakistan cricket fan. But this doesn't blind me to the fact that under the laws of the game, the pakistani teams actions constituted a refusal to play and therefore a forfeit. I equally believe that Darrell Hair's and Billy Doctrove's handling of the affair was over zealous. If there was a suspicion of ball tampering, a quiet word in the captain's ear should have sufficed. I understand the umpires do not have to do this, but it's their responsibility to manage the game; and a quiet word might have stopped the wrong doing, if there was any. Why the ICC reversed the decision in the first place is beyond me, and the I agree with the return to the original decision of a win to england. The PCBs decision to re-ignite the debate is a PR exercise to save face in front a people that have been starved of test cricket for over a year now. They need to organise cricket matches anywhere in the world, not bring up old ones that should be dead and buried!

  • POSTED BY TheDoctor394 on | February 14, 2009, 3:39 GMT

    Come on, please, let it rest!

  • POSTED BY ExCric on | February 14, 2009, 2:39 GMT

    The decision reversed twice will now never give the feeling of righting a wrong.Having reversed the decision earlier to a draw It should have been the ICC in fact that should have let a dead dog lie. This was long forgotten, what was the point in going back and starting a fire again?. This was probably a pig-headed decision egged on no doubt by those jokers who call themselves guardians of the games laws[MCC], but really want nothing more than to call the shots and look condescendingly down on the subcontinent. And they say the BCCI calls the shots.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | February 14, 2009, 2:29 GMT

    Pakistan was well ahead in this match (although behind in the series) and, had the match been allowed to continue, then it would have almost certainly resulted in a big Pakistan victory. Therefore, given this, the decision by Darryl Hair to refuse to communicate with the Pakistan team (he should have at least gone to the dressing room to ask why they hadn't taken to the field before just abandoning the match) and then award the match to England is wrong, in every sense of the word. His behaviour was bullish and brought the game into disrepute. The draw, realistically, is a compromise, because a fair result would have been to have awarded the game to Pakistan, not to England. Inzamam was called for throwing, which was a very bad decision, yet he was punished unfairly with no evidence, that brought a dark cloud over the game. He had every right to be upset, and to protest things. He didn't want the game to end in a Pakistan loss! He wanted communication! Give the game to Pakistan

  • POSTED BY La_Bangla on | February 14, 2009, 0:22 GMT

    I am sorry but PCB is total farce. A non stop drama machine without much sense.

  • POSTED BY 1ozy on | February 13, 2009, 23:25 GMT

    I think this whole thing is getting out of hand, the ICC have not handled this properly, Darrel Hair was a joke! So, why punish Pakistan? PCB need to take this action and make sure the result changes back to a draw. Its all politics these days, can you imagine India being there instead of Pakistan? It would have been a draw long ago and no issues made. Inzy was 100% right!

  • POSTED BY Testmatch-lover on | February 13, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    Matches are won or lost on the field. It is a shame that at MCC's insistence this match has been awarded to England when they were facing a certain innings's defeat. This test match should be declared as a draw. That is the way I will count it anyhow. And BTW what authority does MCC has to force ICC to change the outcome? In today's cricket they are nothing but a glorified cricket club with a great past but little future.

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | February 13, 2009, 19:09 GMT

    Bureaucracy in extremis... The MCC are the custodians of the Laws. The umpires quite correctly awarded the match to England under the terms of Law 21.3.(a).(ii), because the Pakistan team refused to play. There is can be no other decision.. quod erat demonstrandum.. The PCB are doing themselves no favours by appearing to think themselves above the Laws of the game.. Is it any wonder that the rest of the cricketing world regard Pakistan cricket in an unfavourable light.

  • POSTED BY Dan-argent on | February 13, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    The PCB need to accept that they lost that test match fair and square. They should learn to get over it and stop sucking a lemon.

  • POSTED BY BlueEagle on | February 14, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    The fact that Pakistan were ahead (and most likely, going to win) is irrelevant, as is the fact Inzamam wouldn't have wanted a loss. The fact is they refused to play.

    Calling the umpires into question for a supposed failure to communicate is rather shortsighted, since it's not like the Pakistan team said a word until the game had been called off. Besides, is sitting in the dressing room silently sulking really the best, and most mature, way to protest?

    And when was Inzamam called for throwing during this whole saga? He didn't even bowl :|

  • POSTED BY gul_khan on | February 14, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    Let me start by saying, I am a fanatical pakistan cricket fan. But this doesn't blind me to the fact that under the laws of the game, the pakistani teams actions constituted a refusal to play and therefore a forfeit. I equally believe that Darrell Hair's and Billy Doctrove's handling of the affair was over zealous. If there was a suspicion of ball tampering, a quiet word in the captain's ear should have sufficed. I understand the umpires do not have to do this, but it's their responsibility to manage the game; and a quiet word might have stopped the wrong doing, if there was any. Why the ICC reversed the decision in the first place is beyond me, and the I agree with the return to the original decision of a win to england. The PCBs decision to re-ignite the debate is a PR exercise to save face in front a people that have been starved of test cricket for over a year now. They need to organise cricket matches anywhere in the world, not bring up old ones that should be dead and buried!

  • POSTED BY TheDoctor394 on | February 14, 2009, 3:39 GMT

    Come on, please, let it rest!

  • POSTED BY ExCric on | February 14, 2009, 2:39 GMT

    The decision reversed twice will now never give the feeling of righting a wrong.Having reversed the decision earlier to a draw It should have been the ICC in fact that should have let a dead dog lie. This was long forgotten, what was the point in going back and starting a fire again?. This was probably a pig-headed decision egged on no doubt by those jokers who call themselves guardians of the games laws[MCC], but really want nothing more than to call the shots and look condescendingly down on the subcontinent. And they say the BCCI calls the shots.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | February 14, 2009, 2:29 GMT

    Pakistan was well ahead in this match (although behind in the series) and, had the match been allowed to continue, then it would have almost certainly resulted in a big Pakistan victory. Therefore, given this, the decision by Darryl Hair to refuse to communicate with the Pakistan team (he should have at least gone to the dressing room to ask why they hadn't taken to the field before just abandoning the match) and then award the match to England is wrong, in every sense of the word. His behaviour was bullish and brought the game into disrepute. The draw, realistically, is a compromise, because a fair result would have been to have awarded the game to Pakistan, not to England. Inzamam was called for throwing, which was a very bad decision, yet he was punished unfairly with no evidence, that brought a dark cloud over the game. He had every right to be upset, and to protest things. He didn't want the game to end in a Pakistan loss! He wanted communication! Give the game to Pakistan

  • POSTED BY La_Bangla on | February 14, 2009, 0:22 GMT

    I am sorry but PCB is total farce. A non stop drama machine without much sense.

  • POSTED BY 1ozy on | February 13, 2009, 23:25 GMT

    I think this whole thing is getting out of hand, the ICC have not handled this properly, Darrel Hair was a joke! So, why punish Pakistan? PCB need to take this action and make sure the result changes back to a draw. Its all politics these days, can you imagine India being there instead of Pakistan? It would have been a draw long ago and no issues made. Inzy was 100% right!

  • POSTED BY Testmatch-lover on | February 13, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    Matches are won or lost on the field. It is a shame that at MCC's insistence this match has been awarded to England when they were facing a certain innings's defeat. This test match should be declared as a draw. That is the way I will count it anyhow. And BTW what authority does MCC has to force ICC to change the outcome? In today's cricket they are nothing but a glorified cricket club with a great past but little future.

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | February 13, 2009, 19:09 GMT

    Bureaucracy in extremis... The MCC are the custodians of the Laws. The umpires quite correctly awarded the match to England under the terms of Law 21.3.(a).(ii), because the Pakistan team refused to play. There is can be no other decision.. quod erat demonstrandum.. The PCB are doing themselves no favours by appearing to think themselves above the Laws of the game.. Is it any wonder that the rest of the cricketing world regard Pakistan cricket in an unfavourable light.

  • POSTED BY Dan-argent on | February 13, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    The PCB need to accept that they lost that test match fair and square. They should learn to get over it and stop sucking a lemon.

  • POSTED BY Patroglov on | February 13, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    BlueEagle has summed the farce up correctly - and people such as rajesh_sehwag are simply ignoring the facts by implying that the problem was one of the umpire's making.

  • POSTED BY BlueEagle on | February 13, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    Let's get some facts straight here shall we? The match was NOT forfeited because of Pakistan's alleged ball tampering (which I actually feel wasn't a good decision), the match was forfeited because the Pakistan team refused to come out when called by the umpires several times. The Pakistan team were in the dressing room for 20 after play was ready to continue, (according to the commentary on this very site, covers were off at 4:35, the England batsmen were out at 4:20 and the game was finally off at 5pm).

    Exactly how this constitutes anything other than a refusal to play is beyond me, and a refusal to play is therefore declared a forfeit. If Inzamam had staged the protest immediately he might have got a bit more sympathy, but by continuing the game then staging a "protest" leaves me wondering exactly what he (or they) thought would happen...

  • POSTED BY BrianM1975 on | February 13, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    This whole farce needs to stop. The PCB need to recognise that the captain and players of their team refused to enter the field of play. Hopefully this committee will recognise this and the matter can be put to bed.

    The ICC acting improperly in chnaging teh result to a draw. They had no power to do this and when the MCC World Cricket Committee pointed this out to them they reversed the reversal! The ICC must ensure it acts much more carefullyin future.

  • POSTED BY rajesh_sehwag on | February 13, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    This decision to set up a three member panel into the oval test issue by the PCB shows the transparency in the boards functioning, ironically this wayward decision making "first awarding it to england relying and backing their umpires/ refrees and then backtracking and again...." makes ICCs' image to look dodgy.I personally feel that the ICC needs to be a bit more responsible while handling issues such as this.By letting the result to go in favour of the england even after so much of confusion on the part of Darrell Hairs' credibility after he demanded the compensation and even e-mailed for the settlement with good ransom.I find this step of PCB to be very correct and as an ardent cricket fan i would also like to see the test be resulted a draw.

  • POSTED BY agivillius on | February 13, 2009, 12:25 GMT

    The result of the Oval Test, has been amongst one of the most recent controversies which has hit Test Cricket. ICC being the World Cricket Governing Authority cannot expect cricketing nations playing under its banner and the cricket fans to vouch for its (the ICC) credibilty, if it plans to conduct itself in such a vague way. What were the factors which led ICC to review and changed its decision not once, but twice at the first place?? I m very sure that in the light of the facts, as they have now turned out to be no common reasonable man will agree that the decision of the ICC has been fair and without any bias and free from any coercion (may it be PCB or ECB it hardly matters). ICC has really worked hard enough to put it self in its present embrassing situation, clearly indicated by the fact that PCB has formed the present committee to have a look at the whole issue again, putting up the whole mechanism/procedure which made ICC reach such a decision into questio

  • POSTED BY PottedLambShanks on | February 13, 2009, 11:57 GMT

    If Inzy was so incensed, why didn't he leave his team off there and then? Perhaps because he knew what was going on and it wasn't until the excitable back-room staff got involved that he suddenly became incensed?

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  • POSTED BY PottedLambShanks on | February 13, 2009, 11:57 GMT

    If Inzy was so incensed, why didn't he leave his team off there and then? Perhaps because he knew what was going on and it wasn't until the excitable back-room staff got involved that he suddenly became incensed?

  • POSTED BY agivillius on | February 13, 2009, 12:25 GMT

    The result of the Oval Test, has been amongst one of the most recent controversies which has hit Test Cricket. ICC being the World Cricket Governing Authority cannot expect cricketing nations playing under its banner and the cricket fans to vouch for its (the ICC) credibilty, if it plans to conduct itself in such a vague way. What were the factors which led ICC to review and changed its decision not once, but twice at the first place?? I m very sure that in the light of the facts, as they have now turned out to be no common reasonable man will agree that the decision of the ICC has been fair and without any bias and free from any coercion (may it be PCB or ECB it hardly matters). ICC has really worked hard enough to put it self in its present embrassing situation, clearly indicated by the fact that PCB has formed the present committee to have a look at the whole issue again, putting up the whole mechanism/procedure which made ICC reach such a decision into questio

  • POSTED BY rajesh_sehwag on | February 13, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    This decision to set up a three member panel into the oval test issue by the PCB shows the transparency in the boards functioning, ironically this wayward decision making "first awarding it to england relying and backing their umpires/ refrees and then backtracking and again...." makes ICCs' image to look dodgy.I personally feel that the ICC needs to be a bit more responsible while handling issues such as this.By letting the result to go in favour of the england even after so much of confusion on the part of Darrell Hairs' credibility after he demanded the compensation and even e-mailed for the settlement with good ransom.I find this step of PCB to be very correct and as an ardent cricket fan i would also like to see the test be resulted a draw.

  • POSTED BY BrianM1975 on | February 13, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    This whole farce needs to stop. The PCB need to recognise that the captain and players of their team refused to enter the field of play. Hopefully this committee will recognise this and the matter can be put to bed.

    The ICC acting improperly in chnaging teh result to a draw. They had no power to do this and when the MCC World Cricket Committee pointed this out to them they reversed the reversal! The ICC must ensure it acts much more carefullyin future.

  • POSTED BY BlueEagle on | February 13, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    Let's get some facts straight here shall we? The match was NOT forfeited because of Pakistan's alleged ball tampering (which I actually feel wasn't a good decision), the match was forfeited because the Pakistan team refused to come out when called by the umpires several times. The Pakistan team were in the dressing room for 20 after play was ready to continue, (according to the commentary on this very site, covers were off at 4:35, the England batsmen were out at 4:20 and the game was finally off at 5pm).

    Exactly how this constitutes anything other than a refusal to play is beyond me, and a refusal to play is therefore declared a forfeit. If Inzamam had staged the protest immediately he might have got a bit more sympathy, but by continuing the game then staging a "protest" leaves me wondering exactly what he (or they) thought would happen...

  • POSTED BY Patroglov on | February 13, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    BlueEagle has summed the farce up correctly - and people such as rajesh_sehwag are simply ignoring the facts by implying that the problem was one of the umpire's making.

  • POSTED BY Dan-argent on | February 13, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    The PCB need to accept that they lost that test match fair and square. They should learn to get over it and stop sucking a lemon.

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | February 13, 2009, 19:09 GMT

    Bureaucracy in extremis... The MCC are the custodians of the Laws. The umpires quite correctly awarded the match to England under the terms of Law 21.3.(a).(ii), because the Pakistan team refused to play. There is can be no other decision.. quod erat demonstrandum.. The PCB are doing themselves no favours by appearing to think themselves above the Laws of the game.. Is it any wonder that the rest of the cricketing world regard Pakistan cricket in an unfavourable light.

  • POSTED BY Testmatch-lover on | February 13, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    Matches are won or lost on the field. It is a shame that at MCC's insistence this match has been awarded to England when they were facing a certain innings's defeat. This test match should be declared as a draw. That is the way I will count it anyhow. And BTW what authority does MCC has to force ICC to change the outcome? In today's cricket they are nothing but a glorified cricket club with a great past but little future.

  • POSTED BY 1ozy on | February 13, 2009, 23:25 GMT

    I think this whole thing is getting out of hand, the ICC have not handled this properly, Darrel Hair was a joke! So, why punish Pakistan? PCB need to take this action and make sure the result changes back to a draw. Its all politics these days, can you imagine India being there instead of Pakistan? It would have been a draw long ago and no issues made. Inzy was 100% right!