Referee Denness ridiculed at press conference
Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2001, 2:12 [IST]
Port Elizabeth (South Africa): Match referee Mike Denness was the target of ridicule at the press conference called in Port Elizabeth to formally announce the punishments to six top Indian cricketers as none of the queries from the agitated journalists were properly answered."What is he doing here if he is not going to speak," thundered Ravi Shastri, former India captain and now a commentator as Denness refused to answer any question citing ICC rules that do not allow match-referees from talking about their decisions. "We have seen his face before - we know what he looks like," Shastri said sarcastically. Denness was accompanied by Khoya Majola of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) who undertook to answer the queries but couldn't reply satisfactorily to any question. Denness was asked to explain on what basis had he decided to ban Virender Sehwag from the third and final Test and give similar harsh punishments to Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Shiv Sunder Das and Deep Dasgupta but he chose to remain silent. Veteran cricket correspondent Dicky Rutnagur wanted to know if the press could have video footage of the incidents, which led to the action against Indian cricketers. "Does Mr Denness realise how badly he has handled the incident? The Indian national news agency (PTI) got the leak and released it on the wire and perhaps Mr Denness doesn't know it has put a lot of other journalists' careers on line?"