Call off Pakistan tour now

ECB make wrong call – they should have cancelled remaining ODIs after latest fixing claims

England made a final effort last night to save the tour nobody wants. After more suspicion of nefarious activity by Pakistan – this time in the one-day international at The Oval on Friday night – the ECB wrongly, perhaps cravenly, resisted making the bold call to cancel the remaining two matches in the NatWest Series.

The allegations appeared in The Sun yesterday. The newspaper reported that it had obtained information that certain scoring patterns would emerge in Pakistan's innings in the third ODI. It then informed the International Cricket Council.

After an emergency board meeting, the ECB said they had written to the ICC president, Sharad Pawar, to seek assurances that the ICC did not have evidence that could mean players being suspended before the series ends, on Wednesday.

The ICC announced an investigation soon after the match. It seems that two overs are the subject of the inquiry, although a glance at Pakistan's innings suggests that they were hardly in sufficient control to be certain of pulling off a fix. They lost three early wickets – a position difficult, if not impossible, to engineer.

Pakistan won the match by 24 runs after a highly skilful spell of bowling from Umar Gul, who took 6 for 42 to destroy England's innings. The allegations of rigging the score at certain points in the match, said to involve bookmakers in Delhi, were known before the match.

Andy Flower, England's coach, said: "It's really sad for the game. From a selfish perspective it's really annoying because it devalues our Test series win and is also devaluing this one-day series. But looking at it from the game's point [of view], I hope they can get to the bottom of this stuff."

Three Pakistan players have been suspended after a News of the World sting led to the alleged bowling of no-balls in the Fourth Test between England and Pakistan.

It must have been tempting for the ECB to call the whole thing off, simply because the game needs time to regroup and everybody has had enough. But they resisted.

The statement said: "The ECB board noted the ICC is not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred nor has yet been proven in relation to the third NatWest Series ODI between England and Pakistan."

That missed the point by rather more than a one-day wide.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment