Calcutta, June 27: Thanks to Jagmohan Dalmiya, India’s nominee on the International Cricket Council’s executive board, there’s hope for Sourav Ganguly.
The ICC has “unanimously” reopened the regular Team India captain’s ban issue and the matter will head for arbitration. It’s unprecedented.
This was decided upon by the executive board, which met in London during the day.
The arbiter, one learns, is going to be appointed within 48 hours.
“Dalmiya fought hard and, eventually, convinced colleagues on the executive board that there’s merit in Sourav’s case,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph late tonight.
It helped that Dalmiya (immediate past president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India) is a former ICC chief and, so, isn’t unfamiliar with tricks of the trade.
Clearly, it’s a huge gain as the ICC president, Ehsan Mani, defended the six-ODI ban during a visit to Dubai last month.
“Once we set up a process, we must respect the integrity of that process. If we try to change it each time, because someone does not like the decision, then it will be meaningless'” is what Mani, who chaired the executive board, had said.
The decision is extraordinary as the ICC’s code of conduct ' under which punishments are handed out ' has no provision for review once a ban is upheld by an appeals commissioner.
Banned by match referee Chris Broad after the Ahmedabad face-off against Pakistan on April 12, Sourav had his appeal thrown out six days later by appeals commissioner Michael Beloff.
Now, there’s an outside chance he could still be eligible for the 2005-06 season-launching tri-series in Sri Lanka.
If the ban stays, Sourav can’t be picked for the all-important league stage of the July 30-August 9 tournament.
Sourav, who is playing for Glamorgan, wasn’t available for comment as his county had a Twenty20 game in Taunton.
Meanwhile, the executive board has granted ODI status to the three Asia-versus-Africa matches in August.