Andrew Strauss Recalls 2006 England Pakistan Test – A Train Wreck

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There is nothing like stirring up the opposition on the eve of a test match and Andrew Strauss the England captain did it in style referring to the 2006 test match against Pakistan at the Oval as a slowly unfolding train wreck

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He was captain at that match too, deputising for Michael Vaughan, and the match was the case of the famous ball tampering. This resulted in Pakistan forfeiting the match.

Initially the umpire Darrell Hair gave Pakistan a five run penalty for alleged ball tampering. Play continued but later it was postponed for bad light. Conditions improved and when the umpires and batsmen returned to the field Pakistan remained in the dressing room.

After giving them some time to appear, and although it looked as if they might, Hair brought the match to an end by removing the bails.

Initially Pakistan forfeited the match and England was declared the winner but following protests from the Pakistan Cricket Board this was subsequently changed to a draw. The MCC then appealed against this decision and the win was again awarded to England.

According the Strauss Pakistan deserved to forfeit the match as any other decision would set a precedent for a losing team to leave the field in order to be awarded a draw.

It is apparent that the Pakistan players had been very upset about being accused and found guilty by Hair of cheating. In the dressing room they were unclear about what was happening and it is true that their delayed appearance on the field was a minor protest. In fact they were about to leave the dressing room when Hair acted precipitately.

Hair suffered for his actions; his career as a test umpire was destroyed. Good wind-up Straussy! England is the 3/1 favourite with Sporting Bet to win the third test which began yesterday.  

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