Gambhir can still play in Nagpur Test

November 1st, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghNew Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) The Indian team management is hopeful of opening batsman Gautam Gambhir, who has been banned for a Test, playing in the fourth and final Test against Australia in Nagpur that begins Thursday.Gambhir, who was handed the ban by Match Referee Chris Broad Friday for violating the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct during the third Test match here at the Feroz Shah Kotla, has appealed against the decision.

ICC confirmed they have received the notification of the appeal.

The ICC Legal Counsel will now appoint a Code of Conduct Commissioner to hear the appeal within 48 hours. The Commissioner will determine and hear the appeal inside seven days of his appointment.

The third Test match concludes Sunday and the fourth begins three days after. With not much time left, and the ICC process likely to take some time, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials feel the in-form opener stays in contention for the final Test.

“It takes some time for the ICC to appoint an appeal’s commissioner. And it takes seven days to start the entire process. So with the appeal pending, Gambhir can play in the final Test,” a top BCCI official told IANS.

Gambhir’s position is similar to Harbhajan Singh’s in Australia earlier in the year when Match Referee Mike Procter slapped off-spinner a three-Test ban for an alleged racial slur at Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the controversial Sydney Test.

The Indian team management lodged an appeal and Harbhajan was allowed to play in the next Test at Perth, pending the appeal.

In the ongoing Test, Gambhir was engaged in a skirmish with Shane Watson and both were found guilty of violating the ICC’s Code of Conduct.

Watson hurled some abuses at Gambhir, who in return elbowed the all-rounder while taking a second run.

On-field umpires Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar charged both the players. While Watson escaped with a light penalty of just 10 percent of his match fee, Gambhir was given a harsher punishment as Broad felt that any kind of “physical contact” is unacceptable in the game.

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