England awarded final Test after controversy
The fourth Test was abandoned here on Sunday and awarded to England after Pakistan forfeited the match when they stayed in their dressing room following a row over ball-tampering, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.
Pakistan refused to return to the field after tea on day four at The Oval after Darrell Hair and fellow umpire Billy Doctrove had earlier imposed a five-run penalty against them for ball-tampering and changed the ball.
When Pakistan did later take to the field, the umpires did not appear, leading to extensive negotiations that ended with the abandonment several hours later. England win the four-Test series 3-0.
Pakistan’s players, on course for a face-saving win, had been stunned during the afternoon at The Oval when the umpires took action. They continued playing until tea, with England on 298 for four in their second innings and still 33 runs shy of making Pakistan bat again, when the fiasco exploded.
Hair, who has been involved in several controversies with teams from the Sub-continent in the past, and Doctrove walked out to the middle alone, then returned to the pavilion as Pakistan players staged a protest by remaining in the dressing room.
The umpires walked out again 15 minutes later, this time followed by England batsmen Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell, but Pakistan again failed to show. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal was clearly visible reading a newspaper without his pads on.
The situation took a new turn around 45 minutes after the scheduled restart when Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq led his side out, then straight back in as the umpires this time stayed away. Pakistan were aggrieved when the umpires ruled the ball had been tampered after Alastair Cook had been bowled by a reverse-swinging yorker from pace bowler Umar Gul.
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