Dalmiya defends BCCI~~s action against Kale
Published: Monday, December 1, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Initial probe into bribery case over
New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Jagmohan Dalmiya defended his stand of suspending Abhijit Kale saying he was "convinced" about the need to restrict the Maharashtra batsman from playing given the seriousness of the allegation. Dalmiya refused to elaborate on whether the selectors had legal evidence of Kale offering to bribe them for a place in the national side and said he did not want to "prejudice the inquiry" by commenting on the matter at the moment. "But I can say this much that the charge against Kale is not a simple one. If it was a simple matter I would not have taken such a decision. I had to act very cautiously," Dalmiya said after a meeting of the working committee in New Delhi. "Personally I feel I have taken a right decision. If a similar situation arises in future I will take a similar decision," Dalmiya said. The BCCI chief, however, insisted that the suspension should not be seen as a punishment. "I felt the player's action should be kept in abeyance for 15 days. I knew the player was available for selection for Ranji matches and the Sri Lanka 'A' series. I could not have allowed him to play matches because if the matter was raised afterwards and I was asked why I allowed him to play if I know about the charges I would have had no answer." The working committee, which was briefed about the developments on the Kale issue, endorsed the actions taken so far by the BCCI chief. "The working committee said the action taken by me was prompt and as per rules," Dalmiya said adding further action would be taken only after the inquiry commissioner submits his report and the outcome of the court case is known. The BCCI chief said he would have taken a similar action against a selector or any BCCI official if serious allegations were made against them. "The yardstick cannot be the same. It depends on incident to incident. But if charges are of serious nature I will take similar action," he said. Dalmiya hinted that "many things will come out in the report" and the BCCI had no intention of playing "hide and seek" either with the media or the general public. Asked if it was fair to believe only the version of the selectors, Dalmiya retorted, "When you put somebody in that position you have to give him respect. If they come and tell me I have to take note of it. "(Kiran) More and Pranab (Roy) have played at the highest level and (Sanjay) Jagdale has also played first-class matches. Let me tell you I am the most unhappy man because the credibility of the game is in question." The BCCI chief said the working committee also discussed the whole selection structure and found nothing wrong in it. "There is nothing wrong with the present system. It is not as if the entire system is rotten. But we are open to suggestions if we feel these will contribute to some sort of improvement." Dalmiya refused to answer how BCCI intended to compensate Kale and punish the selectors if the player came out clean saying it was a "hypothetical" situation. Dalmiya said the working committee also discussed allegations of corruption in junior cricket, particularly during the selection process but found that the "system was good". "Dilip Vengsarkar is the talent research development chairman. If former cricketers should not be appointed I don't know what is a better way of running cricket. "Our junior teams which won the U-19 Asia Cup in Pakistan and reached the semi- finals of the World Cup have come up from this very system.