Fletcher is caught up in row over ball tampering

As Pakistan cast doubt on the rest of their tour, the England management team was last night implicated in the ball-tampering row which erupted on the fourth day of the final Test at the Oval on Sunday which ended with the tourists being deemed to have forfeited the match.

It has emerged that on Sunday morning ­ the only day in the whole series when the issue of ball tampering arose ­ before the start of the day's play, the England coach, Duncan Fletcher, went to see the match referee, Mike Procter. Fletcher's visit was confirmed by an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman, who said: "It is not unusual for the England coach to meet with the match referee before play, but no complaint was made about the condition of the ball."

However, it is understood Fletcher had concerns which could have far-reaching consequences, not only for the rest of the tour, but also for the relations between the two boards and even at diplomatic level between the two countries.

There were claims last night that ball tampering was discussed by England players on Saturday, and opener Marcus Trescothick was seen studying the Pakistan players through binoculars after being dismissed. It is alleged that the finger of blame could have been pointed at Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif.

Fletcher is also said to have suggested to television cameramen that they should focus on the ball being passed between the Pakistan players ­ although these comments were said to have been made in the third Test at Headingley.

It looks as if the remainder of Pakistan's tour rests on the fate of their captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has been summoned to appear before an International Cricket Council disciplinary hearing on Friday. The Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmer, admitted last night that "there will be problems" if

Inzamam is banned, confirming the one-day series would be in doubt.

Woolmer also revealed that his family had talked him out of resigning. " I love cricket, its ethics, and its traditions and this has rocked my sensibilities," Woolmer said last night.

Inzamam has been charged with ball tampering and with bringing the game into disrepute after the Pakistan team failed to re-emerge from their dressing-room on Sunday.

If found guilty of the first charge, he faces a one-Test ban or a suspension for two one-dayers. The disrepute charge is far more serious, carrying with it a ban of between two and four Tests or four to eight one-day internationals. Woolmer said: "The one-day tournament may well be in jeopardy if he is found guilty and banned for eight games. If the punishment was postponed it may be different. This is just what I'm thinking. Certainly after these events, the players are right behind their captain."

The disciplinary hearing will be heard by the ICC chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, the former Sri Lanka Test player, and any punishment would apply with immediate effect, which could rule Inzamam out of some or all of the remaining matches.

Yesterday, the chief target of the Pakistan board and its team was the Australian umpire Darrell Hair.

The PCB chairman, Shaharyar Khan, made it clear that Hair would be persona non grata at any Test involving his team. "The Board would not want to see Mr Hair officiating at any Pakistan game in the future," he said. "We have had problems with Hair before. The team has lost confidence in him and has been offended by his attitude. Therefore we feel his presence is not desirable and we are requesting that he should not be appointed to Pakistan matches."

Shaharyar also said the PCB had lodged a protest with the ICC on two counts. "First, on the ball tampering, we have to give our account. Second, the issue of the forfeiture.

"We will be looking for a change to the protocol regarding ball tampering. My team was aggrieved at the manner in which the issue was brought. It is an issue which affects the credibility and integrity of our team, of our nation. It cannot be a subjective decision by the umpires. They have to go through a process. Unfortunately these rules have only just come in, and when we looked at them yesterday it was clear that the umpires had the right to do what they did. But the rules require change."

Inzamam summed up Pakistan's mood yesterday when he said: "This game is about more than winning and losing, it's about respect, and countries come first. If someone says to me you are a cheat and Pakistan is doing wrong things, my priority is to my country."

Inzamam was frustrated when he wanted to see the offending ball. "I asked him [Hair], 'Why did you change the ball?' He said: 'The ball has been tampered with.' I said 'Show me,' but he is not showing me the ball. It's in the referee's room, but I say it is my right to see the ball, to show that nothing has been done to the ball."

The tourists insist there was no skulduggery with the ball. Woolmer added: "I asked every member of the team under oath whether they had scratched the ball. And to a man they said no."

Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice