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Atherton summoned to appear in court

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Lahore: Former England cricket captain Mike Atherton has been summoned to appear in an Islamabad court next month to answer a defamation charge filed by a Pakistani journalist.Journalist Asghar Ali is suing Atherton for 12 million rupees 211,500 dollars for allegedly calling him a ''buffoon'' at a news conference during the 1996 World Cup. Atherton, currently touring Pakistan with the England team, has been summoned to appear in the court of Judge Mohammad Saleem Uppal on December 7, the first day of the third Test in Karachi, officials said on Sunday. The court summons said the case would be heard in his absence if he failed to appear.Atherton allegedly made the remark when he faced persistent questioning from Ali, a journalist with the Pakistan Associated Press, saying: ''Would someone get this buffoon out of here?''

Atherton, who was England captain at the time, later apologised in a statement read out by England tour manager John Barclay but some Pakistan cricket officials and journalists' organisations were still unhappy, saying Atherton should make an apology personally.Ali's suit says that his fiancee called off their wedding because of Atherton's remark, saying she did not want to be associated with a ''buffoon''. (c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions


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