In face of harsh punishment, Sachin appears calm

Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2001, 3:26 [IST]
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Port Elizabeth: For a man at the centre of an international storm, Sachin Tendulkar was remarkably calm today but the hurt showed. At the receiving end of a harsh punishment from International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Mike Denness, who found him guilty of tampering with the ball, the batting genius received tremendous support from his team-mates, former players and millions of cricket lovers back home.Yet, he himself chose to deal with all queries with stony silence. Occasionally, a smile broke through the grim visage. A national icon back home and a model batsman the world over, Tendulkar brought to the situation the same serenity as he does when he walks to the wicket. Such are the harsh rules of ICC that those punished by the match referee, fairly or unfairly, cannot even react to the sentence. But even if that was possible, Tendulkar may have reacted with the same stoicism with which he reacts to verbal abuse from angry bowlers. Ravi Shastri, former Indian all-rounder, said, "I would say the spirit of the game has been tampered and Sachin Tendulkar is not the person who did it. It is Mike Denness. But who is going to punish him?"

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