ICC rejects BCCI~~s request to sack Denness

Published: Thursday, November 22, 2001, 16:34 [IST]
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London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on November 21 night outrightly rejected the ultimatum of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the sacking of Mike Denness, the match-referee for the third and final Test between India and South Africa starting on November 23, setting the stage for a confrontation that could jeopardise the remaining part of India's tour of South Africa.Backing Denness, who has provoked a stormy reaction by his excessive action against Sachin Tendulkar and five other Indian players two days ago, the ICC said in a statement that it could not agree to the request of the BCCI to appoint another match-referee for the Test that starts at Centurion Park in Johannesburg. Turning down the demand of BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya that alternatively the decisions of Denness be kept in abeyance and reviewed by a panel, the cricket's governing body made it clear that there was no right of appeal to a match-referee's decisions. The ICC statement sets the stage for a confrontation between it and the BCCI, which is under pressure to withdraw its team now in South Africa. The Indian players were reluctant to take the field on the final day of the second Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth on November 20 but were persuaded by Dalmiya to play. The two-page statement said that Denness, a former England captain, had been appointed the match-referee for the entire India-South Africa Test series with the consent of the cricket Boards of India and South Africa. "Given that the ICC is satisfied that all procedures have been adhered to, we cannot agree to this request," ICC chief executive said in the statement. "Mike Denness is a former Test captain and a very experienced match-referee. During his time (of) refereeing Test and one-day international matches his record has been one of fairness and consistency. On the previous nine occasions where Denness has acted as referee for a match involving India, no Indian players have been reported or penalised," the statement said. It said there was a clearly defined process for appointing match-referees for a Test series which has been in place for the last ten years. "It is clearly understood by all the ICC member Boards that there is no right of appeal against the decision of a match-referee. It has never been seriously suggested by any Board that there should be such a right," the statement said, adding that when contacted in September, neither India nor South Africa had any objection whatsoever to Denness' appointment.
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