Pakistan captain banned for four one-day internationals

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The Independent Online

Inzamam-ul-Haq was today cleared of the charge of ball-tampering against him - but found guilty of bringing cricket into disrepute.

An International Cricket Council spokesman announced the outcome of the Pakistan captain's disciplinary hearing at The Oval, arising from events at the same venue when the fourth Test against England was abandoned last month.

Inzamam is to be banned, pending appeal, for four one-day internationals for bringing his sport into disrepute when he led a sit-in protest at The Oval after umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan five runs for ball-tampering.

In clearing Inzamam of ball-tampering, ICC chief referee Ranjan Madugalle said in a statement: "On the first charge of ball-tampered under paragraph 2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct, I find Mr Ul-Haq not guilty.

"Having regard to the seriousness of the allegation of ball-tampering - it is an allegation of cheating - I am not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that there is sufficiently cogent evidence the fielding team had changed the condition of the ball.

"In my judgment, the marks are as consistent with normal wear and tear of a match ball after 56 overs as they are with deliberate human interventions."

Madugalle said he had take the testimony of the expert witnesses into account when coming to his decision.

The statement added: "I have considered their evidence, honestly and fairly given, very carefully. But my duty is to form and give my own judgment."

Madugalle's findings back up Pakistan's insistence they had not tampered with the ball.

But Inzamam could not escape punishment for the charge of bringing the game into disrepute after Pakistan's protest led to the Test being the first in history to be forfeited.

Inzamam's ban will rule him out for the majority of next month's Champions Trophy Tournament in India - a competition which Pakistan would be regarded as among the favourites to win.

Madugalle added: "He has been found guilty of twice deliberately refusing to come onto the field of play as a protest against the umpires."

Pakistan have 24 hours to prepare an appeal against the ban.

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