England tour of India - Cricket: Sehwag dropped in lieu of a review panel

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata: The crisis facing international cricket on Friday blew over with batsman Virender Sehwag being dropped from the team for the first Test against England in return for the International Cricket Council (ICC) agreeing to set up a Commission to review the penalties awarded to six Indian players.The Commission, comprising people of highest reputation including two former cricketers, would examine whether the ICC match-referee Mike Denness followed procedures and acted in accordance with the ICC Code of Conduct while penalising the six cricketers during the second Test against South Africa. BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya in Kolkata and ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed in London announced the deal simultaneously. This paves the way for the series against England going ahead as scheduled from Monday next. Simultaneously, Dalmiya also demanded that the stigma attached to Sachin Tendulkar's name should be removed and the punishments to five other Indian cricketers be reconsidered. Tendulkar, who was given a suspended one-match ban by Denness for cleaning the ball without informing the umpires, however, was given a clean chit later that he was not accused of ball-tampering.Sehwag was banned for one Test for excessive appealing in the Port Elizabeth Test. The Commission that will be appointed will also go into the issue of guidelines and principles of natural justice under the ICC Code.Speed said in London that ICC has stood by the match referee by derecognising the third and final match between India and South Africa in Johannesburg and was also prepared to withdraw official status for all the matches till India complied with its directive on Sehwag.He said the Commission would have former cricketers of eminence and a lawyer. It would submit its report in January. Speed later said over telephone from London that it was a "modest compromise" to get the game going and ultimately it was victory for the game of cricket.He said it would be a "limited review" by the Commission to see whether the match-referee had followed procedures. "I am confident that Mike Denness had followed procedures but organisations like ICC who are big enough should be ready for scrutiny by an independent body," Speed said.The report of the Commission would be ready by the end of January. He denied a suggestion that there was a climb down by either side.Speed said the ICC and BCCI were heading for a collision but now that has been averted. "The good news is that now the India-England series will be played officially between two great cricketing nations," he said.With the deal between BCCI and ICC hammered out, a meeting proposed in Kuala Lumpur between them is now off. PTI

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