Kale offered unconditional apology: Dalmiya

Published: Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:India's first-class cricketer Abhijit Kale has been banned from playing for the rest of the year after he admitted trying to bribe selectors to pick him for the national team.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said Kale, 30, had "offered unconditional and unqualified apology" for his actions in a letter to the three-member disciplinary committee that probed the scandal.

Two national selectors, Kiran More and Pranob Roy, alleged in a written complaint to the BCCI in November that Kale offered them each a bribe of one million rupees (22,000 dollars) to be picked for the tour of Australia late last year.

"Kale has been found guilty of grave misconduct and indiscipline, but the disciplinary committee felt that no extreme or severe punishment should be given in the absence of direct proof," Dalmiya said on Wednesday.

"We have decided to ban him till 31 December, 2004. He is already serving a suspension from all cricket since last November pending the inquiry."

Kale, who hails from the western state of Maharashtra, had been a prolific scorer in domestic cricket with 6,806 runs in 84 first-class games at an average of 58.67, including 24 centuries.

He made 10 in his only international appearance in a Limited Overs tournament in Bangladesh in April last year.

The disciplinary committee, comprising Dalmiya, Ranbir Singh and Kamal Morarka, also castigated the two selectors for bringing Kale's bribe offer to the notice of the Board three months after he approached them in August.

"We have recommended to the BCCI that a code of conduct be set up for the selectors," Dalmiya said. "What happened was wrong and should not happen again."

Kale, in his letter to the Board, accepted that the incident had "tarnished the image of the BCCI."

"I accept that it was wrong on my part to influence the selectors by approaching them directly or through my parents," he wrote.

"I tender an unqualified apology for my actions."

The scandal was the biggest to hit Indian cricket since a match-fixing saga in 2000 that led to life bans for former captain Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma and five-year suspensions on fellow internationals Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar.

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