Cricket: Cowdrey pitches in to ball debate

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The Independent Online
Sir Colin Cowdrey, the chairman of the International Cricket Council, will today finally break his silence on the great ball-doctoring debate.

It was nearly seven weeks ago that the Pakistan tourists were accused of cheating during the summer's series with England but, far from ending the controversy, the former England captain now appears likely to start a fresh outcry over the issue by restricting his comments to what should happen in the future.

'Sir Colin's six-paragraph statement does not refer to last summer,' an ICC spokeswoman said yesterday. The ICC was urged to speak out within hours of the fourth Texaco Trophy international at Lord's on 22 August.

Ken Palmer and John Hampshire, who stood as umpires in the match, changed the ball during England's innings and the implication was that they had acted under the law which deals with tampering.

Pakistan immediately denied the charge and started legal proceedings several days later when England's Allan Lamb openly accused them of cheating.

Since then, Cowdrey has been under pressure to reveal exactly what really happened at Lord's. It now looks, though, as if he is determined to draw a veil over the incident - probably on legal advice.

Lancashire have appointed David Hughes, who used to captain the side, as cricket manager, and David Lloyd, his former team- mate, as county coach. The pair have been given 12-month contracts, which will be reviewed at the end of next year. Lloyd's appointment will not affect his broadcasting commitments.

Surrey are to begin the third stage of their pounds 4m pavilion face- lift this week. The first part of the scheme includes 700 more seats - boosting ground capacity to 16,000 - plus the addition of a cinema, a larger library and a new security office.