Gambhir’s Test ban upheld; BCCI rejects decision (Lead)

November 4th, 2008 - 11:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Nagpur, Nov 4 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed commissioner Justice Albie Sachs has upheld Gautam Gambhir’s one-Test ban without any hearing. The Indian cricket board has rejected the decision and has written to the ICC.Gambhir, who was handed the ban by match referee Chris Broad, will miss the final Test against Australia starting here Thursday. M. Vijay of Tamil Nadu has been drafted in the Indian Squad in place of Gambhir.

Gambhir was served the ban by match referee Chris Broad for breaching ICC code of conduct during an altercation with all-rounder Shane Watson on the opening day of the third Test at Ferozshah Kotla stadium in Delhi.

Justice Sachs reached his verdict after studying video footage, documentary records and written submissions.

“I am prepared to accept that he (Gambhir) had been the victim of prolonged and persistent verbal abuse by members of the Australian team, culminating in a moment of anger that led to his unfortunate lapse,” Sachs said.

“I cannot find that the penalty imposed on him is so disproportionately severe that I should intervene. He concedes that what he did was unacceptable. It was not the first time. Millions of people saw it.

“The cricketing world is entitled to expect from him and all cricketers the highest standards. The rules against actual or threatened violence against opponents must be strictly enforced. The appeal must fail. The penalty stands,” he said.

BCCI though objected to the decision and its secretary N. Srinivisan has written to ICC president David Morgan on the issue.

“The order seems to be pre-decided and has been passed without affording the player an opportunity of personal hearing, legal representation and without acceding to his request for certain documents or recordings to be given to him and also denying him an extension of time,” Srinivisan said in a statement.

“…By deciding the appeal in a hurry without hearing the player, serious damage has been caused to Gautam Gambhir as the order is a permanent blot on him and has the potential to damage a bright and successful career.”

Gambhir and Shane Watson were involved in a verbal altercation on the opening day of the third Kotla Test. Both players were found guilty by the match referee of breaching the ICC Code Of Conduct. Watson was fined 10 per cent of his match fee while Gambhir was handed a one-Test ban for elbowing the Australian all-rounder.

Gambhir has been India’s top-scorer in the series. He scored a double century in Kotla and India will be hit by his absence.

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