Ban rocks Parliament again, recall say members
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2001, 22:56 [IST]
New Delhi: Cutting across party lines, members in the Lok Sabha on Thursday reacted angrily to "discriminatory" punishment against Sachin Tendulkar and five other Indian cricketers during the second Test match in South Africa and demanded a swift action to uphold the prestige of the country and its players. Some members sought immediate intervention by the government as the third Test match is scheduled to begin on Friday. Amid cries of shame, BJP member Kirti Azad said ''policy of apartheid'' was being practiced against the Indian players and if the International Cricket Council (ICC) failed to do justice, the Indian team should be called back. While Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress) and Mohan Rawale (Shiv Sena) supported the demand of Azad to call back the Indian team, Somnath Chatterjee (CPM) and P R Dasmunsi (Congress) said such a move could affect ''friendly'' ties with South Africa whose cricket Board is supportive of the Indian Board in the matter. Azad, a former Test cricketer, said "discriminatory policy" adopted against Indian and Pakistani players was clear from the fact that the action initiated against 18 cricketers in the last one year included 10 players from these two countries. He described ICC as a ''toothless tiger''.