Sachs to head Denness stand-off panel

Published: Friday, January 11, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Three of the cricket world's senior and respected figures have been confirmed as members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Referees Commission, set up by the ICC in the wake of the dispute with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over penalties imposed on six Indian cricketers during last November's Port Elizabeth Test match between South Africa and India.

Justice A L Sachs of South Africa will chair the Commission, supported by Majid Khan from Pakistan and Andrew Hilditch of Australia, an official press release from ICC said. Justice Sachs is a member of South Africa's Constitutional Court, the country's highest legal judiciary and has been a member of the ICC's Code of Conduct Commission since its formation in 1999. Majid Khan is a highly respected former Pakistan captain and batsman, who played 63 Tests for his country from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s. He has served as an ICC match referee and is a past chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Andrew Hilditch completes a distinguished panel. He won 18 Test caps as an opening batsman and vice-captain with the Australian team of the late 1970s to mid 1980s. He is an Australian Cricket Board national selector and a practising solicitor in Adelaide. "This is a Commission of quality and integrity and one which combines outstanding cricket pedigree with a high degree of legal and administrative expertise. I am entirely confident that it will fulfil its brief to the satisfaction of all parties," ICC president Malcolm Gray said. "In accordance with the terms of the agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) the ICC consulted on the composition of the panel. Mr J Dalmiya, president of the BCCI, objected to each of the ICC candidates and put forward a number of his own nominees. Two of these, Richie Benaud and Imran Khan, were approached with a view to joining the panel but for personal and business reasons were unable to accept the invitation," Gray added. The panel will meet in February and its findings as well as recommendations will be considered by the next ICC Executive Board meeting in mid March. The ICC established a Referees Commission to examine and report to the Executive Board on the procedures relating to ICC referees: If there should be a right of appeal against a decision of a match referee. If there is to be a right of appeal, the best way to structure the system of appeals so that it is not used to obtain an unfair advantage. If there should be an ICC Code of Conduct for match referees. How consistency can best be achieved in penalties imposed by match referees. If it should be obligatory for ICC referees to explain their decisions to the media and the public. If the ICC match referee followed the procedures laid down in the ICC Code of Conduct, during last November's second Test between South Africa and India in Port Elizabeth. The Commission will not review the actual disciplinary penalties imposed by the referee. The findings of the Commission will contribute to the ICC's ongoing restructuring of its referees and umpires panels. Ranjan Madugalle was recently appointed to the position of Chief Referee and is currently identifying candidates for the remaining four full time positions.

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