Gibbs appeal to come up for hearing ~~morrow

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Herschelle Gibbs's appeal against a two Test match-ban imposed upon the South Africa batsman for "racially offensive" comments during the first Test against Pakistan, will be heard on Wednesday via teleconference, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement issued from its Dubai headquarters.

Gibbs's case will be heard by Richie Benaud, now one of cricket's most well-known broadcasters, in the former Australia captain's capacity as an ICC appeals commissioner.

The teleconference will also involve Gibbs, his legal representative, ICC match referee Chris Broad and a legal representative acting on his behalf. The global governing body's in-house lawyer Urvasi Naidoo will also be present on the call in an administrative capacity.

Benaud, under the terms of the appeals procedure, has seven days in which to hear and determine the appeal.

As his appointment was confirmed on January 18, the appeal will be processed before the Friday start of the third Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Cape Town.

Benaud has complete discretion to increase, reduce, amend or substitute the original verdict and his decision is final and binding.

The ICC's announcement came after Pakistan levelled the series at 1-1 earlier Monday with a five-wicket win in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Gibbs was found guilty of a Level 3 offence under the ICC code of conduct which prohibits using "any language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin."

The charge, laid by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, relates to an incident that took place shortly before the lunch interval on the fourth day of the first Test in Centurion earlier this month, when Gibbs's comments regarding Pakistan supporters were overheard through a stump microphone on the ground.

At a hearing conducted by Broad after the Test, which South Africa won by seven wickets, Gibbs apologised for his remarks but pleaded not guilty to the ICC charge.

Conflicting reports of the incidents which led to Gibbs's remarks have been published in South African newspapers.

The three spectators who were moved from seats near the boundary after allegedly swearing at bowler Paul Harris, claim Harris swore at them.

But other spectators say the Pakistani supporters were abusive and made watching the game unpleasant for people sitting near them.


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