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Third umpire retires hurt
- Mohan locked out of BCCI hub

Mumbai, Oct. 9: Yesterday's restraint order stopped the country's newly elected cricket bosses from starting work. Today, the court-appointed interim administrator found that he couldn't either.

Retired apex court judge S. Mohan reached the BCCI headquarters here, only to find the gates locked.

The drama came on a day the BCCI moved a special leave petition in the apex court against Madras High Court's Friday order that restrained the board's new office-bearers from assuming charge. The board contended the order would prevent selection of players for the ongoing series with Australia and bring Indian cricket to a 'standstill'.

The hearings will begin on Monday.

Mohan, who reached the cricket board office at 11.15 this morning, said he was shocked at the 'sorry' state of affairs. 'I am very shocked. I have come here out of respect for the high court order,' he said.

The retired judge said he was disappointed as he was here in an official capacity, not to interfere with the game. 'I had come to take over as interim administrator as per the order of the high court but I have been prevented from doing so,' he said.

Mohan waited near the BCCI office for about half an hour. He later boarded an afternoon flight for Chennai, saying he was not sure if he would return on Monday to take charge.

He said the board employees should have known he was arriving to take charge, as they were informed about the high court order. He said he had no intention of interfering in 'matters of cricket', like selection of teams.

'I won't interfere with the game of cricket at all. I will write to everybody concerned ' state associations, banks and committees ' and say that I have taken over as interim administrator as per the high court order,' he said.

Mohan said he could appoint an ad hoc committee if he takes over as administrator and could also look into the row over telecast rights, but he would first have to take charge.

The BCCI denied the allegation that Mohan was deliberately denied access. Secretary S.K. Nair said apart from media reports, there was no communication to the board that the retired judge would be reaching the Mumbai office.

'We were not informed whether he had accorded his consent to such appointment,' Nair said.

Dhyaneshwar Agashe, chairperson of the Maharashtra Cricket Association, said the incident was very 'unfortunate' and that the official reason stated was that 'everyone was on leave'. 'We do not know who was behind it,' he said.

Agashe said the head of the staff at the BCCI office is responsible for opening or closing the office, but could not be contacted. No other staff members could be contacted.

A top board member said the official reason given was that 'the staff was given the day off to compensate for Ganesh Visarjan on September 27'. Agashe, however, said it was highly irregular for all staff members to suddenly go on leave.

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