|Ground:||Kennington Oval, Kennington|
|Event:||Pakistan in British Isles 2006|
DateLine: 21st August 2006
Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was charged Monday with ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The charges follow the sensational forfeit Sunday of the fourth and final Test against hosts England at The Oval after accusations of ball-tampering against the Pakistan team.
Never before in the 129-year-history of Test cricket has a match been forfeited.
The ICC said in a statement: "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'."
Both charges will be considered at a hearing to be conducted by ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle in London on Friday.
If found guilty of either offence Inzamam could be banned for several matches and fined.
Inzamam has been charged, as captain, with a breach of Level 2.10 of the ICC Code which relates to changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 of the Laws of Cricket.
This charge was brought by the on-field umpires Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Darrell Hair (Australia).
If Inzamam is found guilty of breaching this provision he faces a fine of between 50 and 100 percent of his match fee and/or a one Test or two one-day international (ODI) ban.
Inzamam has also been charged with a breach of C2 at Level 3 of the Code which relates to conduct that brings the player or the game of cricket into disrepute.
This charge was brought by Doctrove and Hair along with the third and fourth umpires Peter Hartley and Trevor Jesty (both of England) following a meeting on Monday morning.
If Inzamam is found guilty of breaching this provision he faces a ban of between two and four Test matches or four to eight ODI matches.
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.
If found guilty the penalties would apply with immediate effect subject to appeal which would have to be made within 24 hours of notification of the adjudicator's decision.
If an appeal is made a player is permitted to continue to represent his country pending the outcome of the appeal.
Madugalle has been provisionally appointed to conduct the hearing as the match referee for the fourth Test, South Africa's Mike Procter, was involved in the incidents that took place and is likely to be asked to present evidence to the hearing.
Madugalle officiated in the first three matches of the series and his appointment has been approved by both the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The controversy was sparked when veteran umpire Hair penalised Pakistan five runs after paceman Umar Gul had completed his 14th over of the innings and his signal to the scorers boosted England's total from 230 for three to 235 for three at the end of the 56th over.
Meanwhile it emerged that Inzamam has the support of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf who telephoned the country's cricket captain to offer his support in the row.
"The president spoke to captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and supported the stance the team took in protest against the allegations of ball tampering," a senior government official told AFP in Islamabad.
Protests broke out in Pakistan on Monday as angry mobs torched newspaper photographs which showed Hair removing the bails at The Oval.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)