Beloff turns down Ganguly appeal, ban stays

Published: Monday, April 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:India captain Sourav Ganguly's appeal against a six-match one-day international ban was rejected by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

However the world governing body said, in view of the disruption caused by the uncertainty over Ganguly's availability, the last two matches of the recently concluded six-match series against Pakistan would count as the first two games of the ban.

The remainder of the ban should take effect during India's participation in August's triangular one-day series in Sri Lanka, also featuring the West Indies.

Ganguly was appealing against a sentence imposed by match referee Chris Broad.

The former England batsman, who had already fined him 70 percent of his match fee for the team's slow over-rate in the third international in Jamshedpur, imposed the ban after India fell three overs short in the following match in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Pakistan won both matches to square the series at 2-2 before going on to win 4-2 after a 159-run victory at New Delhi on Sunday a match batsman Ganguly missed, even though as his appeal was pending he was eligible to play, following poor recent form.

ICC appeals commissioner Michael Beloff endorsed Broad's decision in a 23-page written judgment provided to the India captain earlier Sunday.

In his judgment Beloff, a leading English lawyer, said he did not accept the argument put forward by Ganguly that heat was the reason for failing to achieve the over rates.

"Cricket is a game played in all kinds of climates; it cannot be right that the mere fact of the heat and humidity will excuse a failure to achieve the minimum over rate," his judgment said.

Ganguly had requested the hearing be heard via video-conference link. It was via such a link that he won an appeal in November against a previous ICC decision to suspend him from two Test matches for a similar offence during a one-dayer against Pakistan at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.

However, Beloff heard the appeal based on written submissions but stressed: "It must be recalled that natural justice does not automatically require an oral hearing."

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, explaining the decision to take the last two games of the India-Pakistan series as the first two games of the ban, said: "The initial decision of the match referee to impose this ban clearly had an impact on the ability of the Indian team to determine and select the make-up of its side."

"In light of this, the last two matches of India's series against Pakistan, where the possible suspension of the Indian captain impacted on the selection decisions of the (Indian) Board, will count as the first two matches served under this sentence."

Ganguly has no further right of appeal within the ICC as their Code of Conduct states that the decision of the appeals commissioner shall be final and binding.

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