Restriction for team members from airing views

Published: Monday, September 26, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Alarmed at the airing of views in the media yesterday by off spinner Harbhajan Singh and his take on the Sourav Ganguly-Greg Chappell spat, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has asked all the players contracted to it as well as those who were on the recent tour to Zimbabwe, besides the Indian team's support staff, to keep mum on the issue. The board cautioned them that any behaviour to the contrary would amount to breach of contract.

A media release issued by BCCI secretary S K Nair from Thiruvananthapuram said that the board has "appealed to all cricketers under its contract as well as those who were selected for the tour of Zimbabwe and the support staff of the team to exercise restraint."

In a letter to all the players who toured Zimbabwe and those who are contracted as well as the coach and other support staf, Nair said: "Your kind attention is invited to the relevant provision of the letter of selection that was issued to you prior to the tour to Zimbabwe in August 2005, or the contract entered between you and the board.

"You are aware that the board has constituted a committee to review the performance of the Indian team and the roll of all concerned. The committee is scheduled to meet on September 27, 2005 at Mumbai.

"In view of this, you are advised to apply restraint and not make any comments to the media that affects the interest of Indian cricket."

The review committee consists of BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendera (Chairman), Jagmohan Dalmiya, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, S Venkatraghavan and Nair (Convenor).

In the meeting on Tuesday, coach Chapell, skipper Ganguly and Amitabh Choudhary (manager of the Indian team that toured Zimbabwe) have been invited as special invitees, so that the committee could also hear their views, Nair informed through the media release.

"I have spoken to Harbhajan on the issue and he has appreciated our point of view. Perhaps he's not read the provisions of the contract", Nair told PTI about the reason for the issuing of the caution to the players and others by the board.

Earlier, Harbhajan came out in open support of his embattled captain Ganguly and credited him for the success of the team while at the same time, accusing coach Chappell of creating "fear and insecurity" among the players.

The first player to speak on the controversy which has engulfed Indian cricket, Harbhajan, who returned home yesterday along with other team members, slammed the "double standards" of Chappell while hoping that the entire issue was resolved at the earliest.

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