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Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Australia backs ICC stance in Denness row

Published: Monday, November 5, 2001, 20:50 [IST]
 
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Hobart: Australian cricket on Friday expressed its backing for the world governing body's stance over the third Test between South Africa and India being declared unofficial if match referee Mike Denness was prevented from officiating.[an error occurred while processing this directive]However Australian Cricket Board chairman Bob Merriman said he did not believe the standoff would affect South Africa's Australian tour, which gets underway next month.Denness infuriated India with a series of decisions arising from the second Test when he punished icon Sachin Tendulkar for ball doctoring and five other players, including captain Saurav Ganguly, for excessive appealing.South African cricket authorities, reportedly under pressure from their government to play the Test, agreed that Denness should be removed.ICC chief executive, Australian Malcolm Speed, responded by declaring no cricket administration had the authority to remove Denness, who had been appointed by the world body.Speed said all the ICC's other referees and umpires would be ordered not to take part and the match would lose its official status.The South African and Indian Boards have asked Denis Lindsay, an ICC referee and former South Africa wicket-keeper, to officiate in Denness' place.Merriman, who has conferred with the ICC's Australian president Malcom Gray, said the ACB was gravely and deeply concerned by the developments."The playing conditions and regulations that bind us all together clearly give certain authority to the ICC president and chief executive to appoint referees," he said at the second Test against New Zealand."No team has the right to object to or try to select referees. Anything that goes against these regulations is of grave and deep concern."Merriman said that to be an official Test, a match had to meet the regulations and requirements. "My knowledge is that this match (the third Test) doesn't meet those requirements," he said.However the matter was between India, South Africa and the ICC and did not concern Australia, he said. Merriman said he did not expect the imminent South African tour of Australia to be affected.Australia and South Africa had always played by the rules and he expected that to continue, he said, adding there was no need to seek a fresh commitment from South Africa that it would abide by them.

AFP
Copyright AFP 2001

Extras:
ICC rejects Denness' removal
Jagmohan Dalmiya rubbishes ICC's threat
Lindsay will replace Denness: BCCI
India's South African Safari
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