SA distances itself from match referee Denness

Published: Thursday, November 22, 2001, 22:45 [IST]
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New Delhi: In a significant statement, South Africa on Thursday distanced itself from the controversial decisions taken by match referee Mike Denness against six Indian cricketers saying neither the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) nor the South African team raised "any objections whatsoever to the conduct or play" of the Indian team.The South African High Commission issued a press statement here saying, "The decisions taken against the members of the Indian team were entirely those of the match referee Mike Denness, who is appointed by the International Cricket Council." "Responsibility for the matter rests therefore with Denness and the ICC," it said. In the context of reports that India may pull out of the third and final cricket Test with South Africa starting on Friday, the High Commission said it was its belief that sports provided an important channel of promoting good relations between countries and peoples. "We reaffirm the importance and value we attach to the presence of the Indian cricket team in South Africa," the statement said. It recalled the strong historical bond and close bilateral relationship between the two countries and said it was symbolic and fitting that the very first tour undertaken by South Africa following its return to international cricket was to India. The statement said the CEO of UCBSA G Majola as well as numerous South African cricketers and members of the public have expressed sympathy and understanding for the plight of the Indian team as well as concern for the tour of South Africa to continue in the spirit of cordiality and sportsmanship.

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