There's been no official announcement yet, but if all the rumours are true then the ICC executive is about to alter the result of the 2006 Oval Test between England and Pakistan.
Ranjan Madugalle's verdicts in the Inzamam ul-Haq hearing last week were no surprise to me. I expected the ball-tampering charge to be chucked out, and likewise I expected Inzi to be found guilty on the disrepute charge of not returning to the field. The four match suspension seems reasonable enough. The full text of the judgment can be found on the ICC website.
Madugalle dismissed the charge, saying:
Law no.1 of Email Etiquette: Never, ever put anything in an email that you wouldn't want the whole world to see. Didn't you know that, Darrell?
Darrell Hair's botched attempt to negotiate an early retirement package for himself was clumsy and ill-advised. But why has it become everybody's business?
This press release from the ICC regarding Sunday's Contretemps at Kennington arrived in my inbox in the last half-hour. It might be the final word on the Test, but I think there's still some blood-letting to come. I wonder if the ECB's insurance covers this type of cancellation:
Fourth Test awarded to England after umpires deem Pakistan to have forfeited match
The fourth Test between England and Pakistan has been awarded to England after umpires Billy Doctrove and Darrell Hair deemed Pakistan to have forfeited the match.
The umpires made their decision in accordance with Law 21.3* when the Pakistan side failed to emerge from the dressing rooms after the tea interval.
This followed the umpiresâ€™ awarding of five penalty runs to England during the second session of the fourth day after alleged interference with the match ball by the fielding side.
Subsequent to the umpiresâ€™ decision to award the match to England, a series of meetings took place to try and arrive at a situation that was in the best interests of the match and the game of cricket.
Those meetings involved match referee Mike Procter, the two captains Andrew Strauss of England and Pakistanâ€™s Inzamam-ul-Haq, umpires Doctrove and Hair, England Head Coach Duncan Fletcher and Pakistan Team Manager Zaheer Abbas, the Chairman of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) David Morgan and Shaharyar Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and ECB Chief Executive David Collier.
ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed also spoke to umpire Darrell Hair by â€˜phone from Dubai.
Following these meetings the umpires decided that, having made the decision to award the match to England, to change that decision would not be in keeping with the Laws of Cricket.Â The ICC backs the decision of the umpires.
The issue of a charge or charges to be laid against Pakistan under the ICCâ€™s Code of Conduct will now be dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity.
Pakistan has been charged under Level two of the Code of Conduct, 2.10, which relates to changing the condition of the match ball.
The ECB has undertaken to provide a 40 per cent refund to all spectators who purchased tickets for the fourth dayâ€™s play and a full refund for the 12,000 spectators who pre-purchased tickets for Mondayâ€™s scheduled fifth day.* Law 21.3 reads: â€œUmpires awarding a match
(a)Â Â Â A match shall be lost by a side which
eitherÂ Â Â (i) concedes defeat
orÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (ii) in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play
and the umpires shall award the match to the other side.
(b) If an umpire considers that an action by any player or players might constitute a refusal by either side to play then the umpires together shall ascertain the cause of the action.Â If they then decide together that this action does constitute a refusal to play by one side, they shall so inform the captain of that side. If the captain persists in the action the umpires shall award the match in accordance with (a) (ii) above.â€
What the.... ?
How long before we see the ICC issue an emergency playing condition abolishing the five-run penalty in Test matches? Or will we finally see DB Hair despatched to an early retirement?
It will be Monday night before I get the chance to look into Sunday's festivities at The Oval a little more deeply, but for now, here's some background reading: