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Sourav recovers to file appeal against ban

Calcutta, April 13: Regular Team India captain Sourav Ganguly has appealed the six-match ban slapped by Chris Broad after the Motera ODI against Pakistan.

Sourav faxed his appeal to the ICC's in-house lawyer, Urvasi Naidoo, late tonight.

Broad, making more headlines as match referee than he did as an England opener, punished Sourav for India being three overs short at the scheduled close yesterday.

Sourav was banned (for two Tests) by Clive Lloyd for a similar offence in last November's Platinum Jubilee ODI. That, however, got quashed as he was on a strong wicket.

Among other things, Sourav convinced appeals commissioner Tim Castle that (a) dew played havoc; (b) time was lost, not wasted, even on account of non dew-related stoppages.

The ball is back in the ICC's court and, according to general manager Brendan McClements, an appeals commissioner will now be appointed 'within 48 hours'. The appointee is going to be from the Code of Conduct Commission and his verdict has to come within 'seven days'.

Richie Benaud, by the way, is on that commission.

Once the appointment is made, the ban will be 'put on appeal' with Sourav eligible to play if, by the scheduled start of the next match (at this moment, the fifth ODI in Kanpur, on Friday), the appeals commissioner isn't able to give his ruling.

That was followed when Sourav appealed Lloyd's ban.

Assuming the punishment is neither overturned nor reduced, Sourav isn't only going to miss the remainder of the ongoing series, but four matches of the July-August tri-series in Sri Lanka.

Sourav decided to exercise the appeal option after a two-hour meeting with former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya this afternoon. After arriving from Ahmedabad (via Mumbai) around 1.00 pm, the banned captain drove directly to Dalmiya's corporate office.

'I've got a hold on my emotions' Yes, I've recovered,' Sourav told The Telegraph as he stepped into his Ford Endeavour after interacting with Dalmiya, incidentally also a former ICC president.

He looked weighed down though.

Reflecting on the severe (precedent-setting) punishment, Sourav said: 'It's a team game, but the captain is held responsible' Obviously, captaincy has its hazards....'

Sourav was docked 70 per cent of his match fee after the Jamshedpur ODI ' then, too, for his bowlers being slow with the overs.

Yesterday, besides being banned, Sourav lost 30 per cent of his match fee. The rest were poorer by 15 per cent.

Asked if he could be at the Kotla on Sunday, especially as that would be John Wright's last match as Team India coach, Sourav replied: 'Right now, I'm not looking beyond the immediate future.'

It's understandable.

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