ICC charges Pakistan captain

Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute after England was awarded the Oval Test.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

He has also been charged with changing the condition of the ball and his hearing will be held on Friday.

The Test was forfeited after Pakistan refused to take to the field for Sunday’s final session in protest at being penalised for ball-tampering, according to BBC NewsOnline.

It was the first time in 129 years that a Test had been conceded by forfeit.

An International Cricket Council statement announcing the charges read: “Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq will be required to answer two charges relating to changing the condition of the ball and bringing the game into disrepute.”

The disrepute charge, which the ICC deems as more serious, could result in a ban of up to four Test matches or eight one-day internationals, if Inzamam is found guilty.

As captain, responsible for the actions of his players, he has also been charged with a breach of Level 2.10 of the ICC’s code which relates to changing the condition of the ball.

The Pakistan Cricket board has launched a protest at the allegations of ball-tampering and for having to forfeit the match.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan also called for an independent inquiry be held by the International Cricket Council into the whole incident.

Speaking before the charge was laid, Inzamam said the protest was a matter of honour.

“This game is about more than winning and losing. It’s about respect and countries come first,” he said.

“If someone says to me, ‘You are a cheat and Pakistan is doing wrong things’, my first priority is to my country.”

If Inzamam is found guilty of this charge, it could cost him his entire match fee and result in a suspension of one Test or two one-day internationals.

If guilty of both charges, any bans would be served consecutively.

The ICC statement said: “In laying this charge the umpires made reference to the preamble to the Laws of Cricket which highlights the responsibility of the captain to ensure that play is conducted within the spirit of cricket as well as within its laws.”

ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle is set to conduct the hearing.

Coach Bob Woolmer insisted Pakistan had not tampered with the ball and said their protest was because they were upset at being accused of cheating.

Woolmer told BBC Five Live: “The team felt we had to make a stand and there was no doubt that the team was right to make that stand.

“We felt we did not cheat and the judge and jury had made a decision before we had the chance to make our case.”

Pakistan have blamed umpire Darrell Hair for being biased against teams from the Asian subcontinent and said they would not play in any games in which Hair was officiating.

“We are going to make it clear to the International Cricket Council that we are not going to play under the supervision of Hair in any future matches,” said Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan.

Before The Oval Test, Pakistan had objected to Hair standing in the series finale.

Sunday’s drama began after lunch when Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove stopped play to examine the ball after it began to reverse-swing.

They concluded the ball, which was 56 overs old, had been altered artificially to gain an advantage and ordered five penalty runs be awarded to England and that the ball be replaced.

After the tea interval, Pakistan initially refused to come on to the pitch and the umpires removed the bails after walking out to the middle for a second time.

Half an hour later Pakistan made their way from the dressing room to the pitch but were told the umpires would not be coming out.

At 2230 BST on Sunday, the ICC confirmed the match had been forfeited by Pakistan and the game awarded to England, meaning they won the series 3-0.

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