हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Cowdrey: End of an era

Published: Thursday, December 7, 2000, 17:00 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president Kamal Morarka has come down sharply on the Board for the ''harsh'' punishment meted out to the cricketers tainted in the match-fixing scandal saying their contribution to the game should have been considered.The Board's disciplinary committee at its meeting in Chennai on December 5 imposed life bans on former captain Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma and suspended Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar for five years from the game. Former physio therapist Dr Ali Irani was also banned for five years.The decision seems to be snowballing into a war of attrition within the Board mandarins who had earlier expressed divergent views regarding the quantum of punishment for the tainted cricketers. Morarka, a member of BCCI disciplinary committee, is particularly critical of Board president Dr A C Muthiah under whose chairmanship the committee had decided on the punishment. ''The decision was taken by the Board president in a hurry and it has been an unfair judgment for the players,'' Morarka said in a TV interview in Jaipur.''It is an incomplete process and Muthiah should have taken more time,'' he said. Morarka did not attend the meeting in Chennai when the Board imposed the punishment. ''I could not attend the meeting due to some personal work and Muthiah did not postpone the meeting due to media pressure,'' he said adding that the Board president did not accept his request to postpone the meeting. ''I really protest the decision.'' Morarka said, ''Muthiah should have assessed the performance of each player and their involvement in match-fixing and then taken a decision. This is definitely incomplete. Probably, a fair judgment could have been made by taking some time for deliberations. But that did not happen.'' Reacting to Morarka's outburst, Dr Muthiah said, ''After having convened the meeting and announcing to everyone that the decision will be taken, I could not postpone the meeting any further. In my opinion, I have followed the procedures thoroughly. Both myself and Ram Prasad have assessed from every angle and arrived at a fair judgment.'' Morarka had been advocating for a 'soft line' for the players and even criticised the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report on match-fixing in strong terms. A decision could not be taken by a special meeting of BCCI in Calcutta on November 29 due to divergence of opinion among the affiliates. However, a majority of the affiliates had favoured a deterrent punishment for the guilty players. UNI

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