Pakistan were penalized five runs for altering the condition of the match ball unfairly on the fourth day of the fourth and final Test against England at The Oval in London yesterday.
At the end of the 56th over, pace bowler Umar Gul's 14th over, with England 230 for three the umpires inspected the match ball.
Veteran Australian umpire Darrell Hair, standing with West Indian official Billy Doctrove, then signalled to the scorers that five penalty runs were to be added to England's total, taking it up to 235.
This was the first time such a penalty had been imposed in Test cricket, an International Cricket Council spokesman said.
There then followed several minutes delay while the England batsmen chose a replacement ball.
Cricket's Law 42.3 states that in "the event of any fielder changing the condition of the ball unfairly ... the umpires shall award five penalty runs to the batting side."
The Law explains that it is "unfair for anyone to run the ball on the ground for any reason, interfere with any of the seams on the surface of the ball, use any implement, or take any other action whatsoever which is likely to alter the condition of the ball."
The only exceptions to this rule are polishing the ball, removing mud from it and drying a wet ball on a towel.
Playing regulation 42.1.2 (b) for this series also says: "In the event that a ball has been interfered with and requires replacement the batsman at the wicket shall choose the replacement ball from a selection of six other balls of various degrees of usage [including a new ball] and of the same brand as in use prior to the contravention."
The one-day cricket series between India and Sri Lanka has been canceled after the first two of three scheduled games were rained off, Sri Lanka Cricket said yesterday.