The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I should’ve been heard: Kale

Rajkot: Tainted Maharashtra batsman Abhijit Kale on Friday vowed to fight the bribery allegation against him, saying he would talk to his family and decide what to do regarding the suspension slapped on him by the BCCI.

“It is a false allegation. I do not know what to say now but I will say whatever I have to at the inquiry commission,” Kale said here. “I am very disappointed,” he said after he got the news of his suspension pending an inquiry by one-man commission.

“Before announcing the suspension they should have heard my side of the story first. I am very disappointed as this is the beginning of the season,” said Kale, who was here for Maharashtra’s Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra.

“I am on my way back to Mumbai. I will talk to my family and do the needful,” he said. The 30-year-old Kale said the whole charge defied logic. “This is ridiculous. To get selected into the (senior national) team how can anybody offer Rs 20 lakh'”

In Mumbai, Kale’s father jumped to his son’s defence rubbishing the allegations as “baseless” and defying logic.

The 56-year-old Vasant Kale said he was appalled to hear about accusations that his son had offered money to the selectors.

“Abhijit does not need to bribe anyone to make it to the team. He also toured the West Indies and South Africa (as an India A team member) in the past and just last year he was adjudged best batsman on domestic circuit,” he said.

Kale has to appear before Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA)’s three-man inquiry committee in Pune on Saturday. The MCA joint secretary J.U. Mitkar informed from Aurangabad that the player had been asked to appear before the committee comprising S.K. Sathe (Test umpire), T.K. Handu and S. Mandale (both all-India panel umpires).

Bengal coach Karsan Ghavri said it was hard to comment at this stage as the parties concerned had not given proof of the accusations made. “I am also not sure whether Kale is in a position to come up with Rs 20 lakh, though there can not be smoke without fire. I am sure there must be more to the story than what has come out so far,” he said.

“This is the first time I have heard anything like this and cricket — which is a gentleman’s game — is the real loser. Hence if Kale is proved guilty, he should be banned for life,” Bapu Nadkarni added. (PTI)

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