The ICC has charged Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq with ball tampering, and with bringing the game into disrepute.
Both Inzamam’s charges will be considered during a hearing to be conducted by the ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle. Madugalle has been appointed to chair the hearing because Mike Proctor, the match referee at The Oval, was involved in the incidents that took place on Sunday afternoon and is likely to be asked to present evidence to the hearing.
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.
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 into disrepute. This charge was brought by Doctrove and Hair, along with Peter Hartley and Trevor Jesty, the third and fourth umpires, following a meeting on Monday morning.
Unless there is some photographic evidence that we do not yet know about, the ball tampering charge is likely to descend to a messy farce, with just the umpire’s word versus that of Inzamam.
The ‘bringing game into disrepute’ charge, I think, will be an open and shut case. The nightmare scenario is that if Inzamam is found innocent of ball tampering, and guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.
Pakistan will then feel that they were found innocent, and punished for it.Â The fact is, they are going to be punished for their ‘post tea sit in’. However, sides have been taken, and the facts are going to get lost in the noise and shouting.
Whatever the outcome, it certainly is not going to be very edifying for cricket.