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 Pakistan return to Oval three years after ‘forfeiting’

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PostSubject: Pakistan return to Oval three years after ‘forfeiting’   Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:09 am

Thursday, June 04, 2009
From our correspondent


LONDON: Pakistan returned to The Oval here on Wednesday for the first time after ‘forfeiting’ a Test match against England at this historic venue almost three years back, praying that they are spared by any controversies this time.

In the summer of 2006, Pakistan became the first team in the 129-year-old history of Test cricket to ‘forfeit’ a Test after they refused to take the field after tea break on the fourth day to protest against ball-tampering charges levelled by field umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove.

In that match Younis Khan — the current Pakistan captain — was one of the team’s senior players and supported the then skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq’s move to protest against the umpires’ decision to penalise Pakistan for alleged ball-tampering.

Inzamam’s refusal to take the field snowballed into one of the biggest controversies in the sport and also played a major role in straining Pakistan’s relations with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Team officials said on Wednesday that Pakistani players have put aside the bitter memories of The Oval episode and are fully focussed on the task at hand: to give their best in the World Twenty20 Championship.

“Whatever happened in 2006 is now a thing of the past and now all the players are just thinking about one thing and that is how to win the title here,” said a team official.
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