The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kale and Kiran cross swords

Calcutta, Nov. 29: East’s Pranab Roy and Kiran More of West, the national selectors who have accused Abhijit Kale of offering an inducement, stuck to their stand during the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)-initiated inquiry in Visakhapatnam.

Apparently, they “substantiated” their (unprecedented) charge as well.

With Bar Council of India chairman D.V. Subba Rao in the chair, as commissioner, the day’s proceedings lasted over six hours and his report should be ready “within four days.” Rao’s deadline, by the way, is December 5.

The Telegraph’s sources said the exercise turned into a More-Kale showdown, with the former even cross-examining the Maharashtra vice-captain a second time.

Though cross-examination isn’t mandatory in any inquiry of a preliminary nature, Rao gave that option to ensure “greater transparency”. Moreover, in a first for the BCCI, an audio recording was commissioned.

While proceedings began an hour late (at 11.30 am), thanks to the delayed Mumbai-Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam flight, drama wasn’t at a premium. And, at the centre of it all was Central’s selector Sanjay Jagdale.

Quite like George Bush landing unannounced in Baghdad, Jagdale flew from Mumbai to “confirm” statements made in his colleagues’ written submission. After all, he was informed of Kale’s Rs 10-lakh offer before Pranab and More complained to BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Incidentally, Jagdale had Kale as a co-passenger but, predictably, didn’t interact.

Meanwhile, Pune’s district and sessions court has stayed yesterday’s order by a lower court judge, V.D. Kulkarni, restraining the BCCI from suspending Kale.

An appeal is planned, but it’s unlikely that the middle-order batsman can play in the Ranji match against Orissa, beginning in Cuttack on Monday. He will, of course, feature prominently at the BCCI’s emergent working committee meeting tomorrow in New Delhi.

Among other things, it will finalise the disciplinary committee — Dalmiya plus two others. The trio will come into the frame once the commissioner’s report is submitted.

Dalmiya, it is learnt, won’t personally suggest names. Given the sensitive nature, he will leave the decision entirely to the house.

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