BCCI says no to stump mic evidence

Published: Monday, January 28, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Adelaide: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will not agree if fresh evidence in the form of transcript from a stump microphone emerges in the two-day hearing on Harbhajan Singh's appeal against a ban beginning here on Tuesday.

"The evidence could be tampered, it could be doctored. We wouldn't allow this so-called fresh evidence to surface after so many days," claims a top board official on Monday.

ICC appointed commissioner in charge of the proceedings, Justice John Hansen, is inclined for rehearing and stated that he would also rely on 'additional evidence' in the form of "transcript available from the stump microphone" to decide on the case.

"There may be some additional evidence, such as the transcript available from the stump microphone, which was not available to Procter," the judge from New Zealand said.

Meanwhile Inderjeet Singh Bindra, a senior BCCI official, is delebrating with the president of Cricket Australia (CA), Craig O'Connor, in order to root out the contentious issue.

Both the boards would be hurt if the forthcoming one-day tour was to be abandoned, a posture Indian board has repeatedly taken in the wake of Harbhajan ban.

Bindra's effort notwithstanding, it remains to be seen if CA indeed could pressurise Australian skipper Ricky Ponting from toning down his team's stated position on the issue.

Justice Hansen's statement this morning, ironically, though also opened a window of opportunity. His procedures also affirms that all the witnesses will give a fresh hearing, which could allow the involved parties to change, or readjust, the positions they took in Sydney.

The richest sporting body on the planet, nevertheless, has been shown in poor light by not arranging any physical legal presence while all this hell has broken loose. No such help was present in Sydney, nor one is going to be present here even though the legal luminary from Nagpur V Manohar, father of the BCCI president-elect Shashank Manohar, would offer his guidance over tele-conference from Mumbai.

The board, as well as the players, have made it be known that they would boycott the tour if the ban as well as the alleged racist remark attributed to Harbhajan is upheld.

BCCI wouldn't like to be seen as not championing the cause of Indian players, something which the previous regime under Jagmohan Dalmiya did so adroitly.

The cricketing circle here though is abuzz with the word that an "evidence" exists which puts Harbhajan, and even Sachin Tendulkar, in poor light.


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