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    April 13, 2005

    Sourav Ganguly banned for six one-dayers

    Match referee Chris Broad announced that Indian captain Sourav Ganguly had been banned for six one-day internationals for violating sections of the ICC Code of Conduct since his bowlers did not complete their quota of 48 overs within the prescribed time limits during yesterday's close match at Ahmedabad. It may be recalled that he was fined 70% of his match fee at Jamshedpur.

    Seen in isolation, Ganguly copped the fine because he was clearly unable to ensure that his bowlers and fielders wasted as little time as possible during Pakistan's innings. The fact that he did not question Broad's decision or offer excuses means that he knew he was at fault. Well, lets put it this way: The Indian team was at fault and since the captain is responsible for the actions of his team members, he will have to take the blame. Ganguly is not a first-time offender and he knows the repercussions of a slow over-rate, having come very close to being banned last year. The ICC went by its rules, and in any mature system, what is of paramount importance is following the rule of law. I completely support the decision because I have also earlier argued in these columns the need for teams to bowl more overs in a day's play. Rod Marsh has expressed concern about falling over rates and his issues need to be addressed in a firm manner by the ICC.

    That said, my concerns on the ICC's inherent inconsistencies still remain. I can think of a few instances in the recent past which bolster my argument that the ICC's officials and systems do not act consistently.

    During the second one-dayer at Vishakapatnam, Inzamam and Razzaq were involved in a mixup which caused Inzamam's runout, and thereby possibly ensured that Pakistan lost the game. People who saw Inzamam's reaction when he returned to the pavillion are convinced that he actually did throw his bat, in spite of his coach's assertions that the bat slipped out of his hands. For what he did, Inzamam got away with a reprimand. Perhaps Broad was nostalgic about his playing days.

    There's of course the ongoing saga of Harbhajan being called for chucking again in spite of the ICC clearing him.

    Michael Vaughan was fined his entire match fee for implying that the umpires were inconsistent in deciding about bad light conditions when England were on tour in South Africa.

    Danish Kaneria was fined his entire match fee in spite of not having any history of being called up by the match referee in total contrast to Andrew Hall being let off even though he had been invited by the match referee on a couple of occassions, presumably to discuss the weather.

    Sehwag copped a 65% fine for showing displeasure at being given out lbw when there was an obvious inside edge. But in discovering the new spirit of walking, a few Australian cricketers obviously did not agree to the umpire ruling them not-out. Nothing was done about those instances.

    Glenn McGrath's past history did not come into the picture at all when he was let off with a paltry fine for swearing after an lbw appeal was turned down.

    Then you have Darren Lehmann saying that he was disappointed with the way his racial abuse issue was handled.

    Once again, the ICC's choice of match referees is totally bizarre. Chris Broad adjudicates on equipment abuse while Clive Lloyd rules on slow over-rates.

    The ICC definitely needs to clean its own stables. If it continues to be inconsistent, it is bound to lose the respect of the players, commentators and fans.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 3:20 PM |
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