Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to appeal against Pune district civil judge V.D. Kulkarni’s order on the Abhijit Kale issue.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, a formal announcement is expected on Sunday, after the emergent working committee meeting in New Delhi.
On Friday, judge Kulkarni placed a temporary injunction on the BCCI, restraining it from suspending Kale and thereby denying him opportunities in officially-conducted tournaments — including the Ranji Trophy.
As the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) also figured in Kale’s suit, filed earlier this week, the state body has responded by asking him to head for Cuttack — venue of Maharashtra’s next Ranji game, from Monday — after appearing before BCCI commissioner D.V. Subba Rao in Visakhapatnam (on Saturday-Sunday).
Kale has already missed the opening match, versus Saurashtra.
Rao, it may be recalled, has summoned Kale and the two selectors (Pranab Roy and Kiran More) who have accused him of offering an inducement to facilitate a Team India comeback.
A written complaint from Pranab and More, to BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, led to Kale’s suspension last Friday. The commissioner was appointed that very day.
“Look, we’ll be guided by what the BCCI decides but, till a stand is taken, we must respect the court’s order. Otherwise, we risk being charged with contempt… Therefore, I’ve asked Kale to proceed to Cuttack from Visakhapatnam,” informed MCA chairman Balasaheb Thorve, speaking exclusively.
Even if Kale gets to play against Orissa — and he certainly can, till the BCCI obtains a stay — his appearance in later games is set to be challenged. As a source put it: “It’s unlikely that the controversy will end with the Cuttack match…”
Given that the MCA will be “guided” entirely by the BCCI, it’s expected that the state body too will go in appeal. In fact, this was strongly indicated by MCA lawyer Girish Shinde, when contacted shortly after judge Kulkarni’s order.
Had Kale not moved court, the suspension could have been effective for a maximum of six-and-half months — by when the BCCI is obliged to complete the commissioner’s hearings and the disciplinary committee’s decision-making.
Meanwhile, a PTI report from Pune quoted Kale as saying “I feel a bit relieved” when asked to comment on the court order.
Strong support from the Kapil Devs notwithstanding, the Maharashtra vice-captain probably realises his troubles are far from over.