Not the whole story

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has today decided to revert the result of the 2006 Oval test match between England and Pakistan to the original one decided by the umpires: an England win due to the match being forfeited by Pakistan as a result of them failing to take the field.

A footnote in cricket history – the series was won by England anyway and this merely changes the series score from 2-0 to 3-0. And an outbreak of common sense since the earlier ICC ruling to award the draw to Pakistan gave losing teams the Get Out Of Jail Free option of simply refusing to take the field.

But little is straightforward in international cricket and there is surely more to the timing of this than meets the eye. On the same day, the ICC also announced that Pakistan would not host the 2009 Champions Trophy. Again, this was on the face of it a common sense decision based on legitimate security concerns in Pakistan. It’s the timing that smells of politics.

I don’t know enough about Indian and Pakistani politics to understand what’s going on here. The interesting thing to me is that nobody seems to be commenting on this. Cricinfo and the BBC are simply reporting these two stories as unrelated press releases following a routine ICC meeting. That’s surely not the case.

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