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Kale bites more than he can chew
- Ruling on interim injunction put off - MCA upset with batsman’s court move - Pranab busy with lawyer

Calcutta: If Abhijit Kale was hoping for an interim injunction on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) move to suspend him from all recognised tournaments, on Tuesday itself, he must have been disappointed.

After all, Pune’s civil judge (junior division) V.D. Kulkarni didn’t give a ruling on the tainted batsman’s plea during the first hearing and, instead, deferred it till Thursday.

The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), too, has been named in that civil suit.

Kale has been accused by national selectors Pranab Roy and Kiran More of offering an inducement to facilitate a Team India comeback. His sole India appearance was in Dhaka, earlier this year.

It’s to be seen what the eventual court order is, but that won’t impact BCCI commissioner D.V. Subba Rao’s functioning. Rao, the Bar Council of India chairman and president of the Andhra Cricket Association, begins his inquiry on Saturday.

Significantly, by also dragging the MCA to court, Kale has antagonised his home body which, till the other day, was backing him to the hilt.

“Kale has contended that he has been made a tool because of differences between the MCA and the BCCI… In fact, on that basis, he sought immediate relief… However, as I conveyed to the judge, there’s no dispute between the state and the parent bodies,” informed MCA lawyer Girish Shinde.

Speaking from Pune, he added: “There’s sympathy where Kale’s career is concerned, yet it seems there has been some misconduct on his part… The MCA has to abide by whatever is decided by the BCCI.”

Pretty infuriated, MCA chairman Balasaheb Thorve told The Telegraph: “I’d specifically advised Kale not to do anything till he appeared before the commissioner… Now that he has involved us in court as well, he shouldn’t expect unconditional support… After all that we did, we do feel very let down…”

Thorve, who is heading an interim body (a fallout of the last AGM), continued: “In any case, the MCA is committed to respecting whatever is determined by the BCCI… As an affiliate, we are bound not to take a different line…”

Clarifying MCA’s earlier stand, he said: “Look, we reacted in the manner we did only because we felt natural justice demanded that Kale be heard… Still… As for the lie detector bit, please remember that I called for all three characters to be put through it, not just the selectors… Woh karne se, doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani ho jata…

“Indeed, it could well be done informally, by making both parties ‘confront’ each other… Surely, the truth will then be out.”

Meanwhile, contacted in Vizag, Rao didn’t rule out the possibility of getting Kale face-to-face with Pranab and More: “I haven’t taken a decision… It will depend on how my inquiry, which is preliminary in nature, progresses.”

All three have been asked to be present in Vizag on Saturday and Sunday. But, before that, they must make a “written representation” — by Thursday, one learns.

Expectedly, Pranab is seeking the help of his lawyer to frame that.

“Actually, it’s back to my playing days… Today, I’m all concentration… I’m trying to ready the answers for possible questions (from Rao),” he remarked, talking exclusively.

Having (jointly) opened the Pandora’s box, Pranab is aware he can ill afford to slip up.

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