Atherton blasts ICC for setting Ganguly free

Published: Sunday, November 28, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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London:In some scathing comments over the revoking of the two-Test ban on Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, former England captain Mike Atherton has said the decision of the International Cricket Council smacked of "India's power at the ICC table".

Slamming the game's world governing body, Atherton said Ganguly had rightly been banned and in exonerating him, it once again proved that it had "run out of credibility".

"Ganguly, rightly, had been banned by the ICC match referee Clive Lloyd because his team took an hour too long to bowl their overs in a One-Day International. As someone who sat through India's soporific over-rate during their Test series against Australia, it was a ban long over due," Atherton wrote in 'Sunday Telegraph'.

Referring to Appeals Commissioner Tim Castle ruling that there were extenuating circumstances, Atherton said did it mean that Match Referee Clive Llyod was "asleep" during the match?

"Ganguly, though appealed, hired a lawyer, was cleared to play in the first Test against South Africa in Kanpur and has now had the ban overturned for the second in Kolkata.

"The appeal adjudicator appointed by the ICC was Tim Castle, and he said there were extenuating circumstances - a wet ball and an injury to a Pakistan batsman - for India's pathetic over-rate. Was Lloyd asleep during the match?"

Atherton also brushed aside ICC Chief Executive's welcoming Castle's decision as "absolute crap".

Atherton said the Ganguly issue was a small one. "But, after the ICC's treatment of the ECB and English cricket throughout the Zimbabwe affair, it merely served to emphasise that the game's governing body has run out of credibility."

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