No action to be taken against Pakistan

Shoaib Akhtar and the rest of the Pakistan team were exonerated of any wrongdoing after a controversial incident during the third match of their one-day series against England at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday.

Barely more than two weeks after the unprecedented conclusion to the Oval Test, footage from host broadcaster Sky Television appeared to show the fast bowler flicking at the ball with his left thumb as he returned to his mark.

But 90 minutes after Pakistan wrapped up a two wicket-win to go 2-0 up in the five-match series, a statement issued on behalf of International Cricket Council match referee Mike Procter said: “After viewing television footage the match umpires have decided no action should be taken against any Pakistan players.”

Pakistan maintained that all Akhtar had been doing was cleaning the ball, something he was perfectly entitled to do under the laws of cricket.

The highlighted incident took place three balls after Ian Bell had been dismissed and in Akhtar’s seventh over.

However, umpires Nigel Llong of England and Billy Doctrove of the West Indies let Pakistan continue to use the ball after they inspected it at the end of the 41st over.

The series continues at Trent Bridge on Friday. - Sapa-AFP


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