The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I'm focused on Kanpur: Sourav
- Team India captain set to leave today

Calcutta: For Sourav Ganguly, life hasn't quite been the same since Clive Lloyd came down on him like a tonne of bricks, Sunday, but the Team India captain has remained composed.

Indeed, speaking to The Telegraph on Wednesday, he insisted his build-up for the first Test versus South Africa, in Kanpur from Saturday, hadn't taken a beating.

'Mentally, I'm ready' Even otherwise, I've trained on each of the last three days and, so, despite everything that has been going on, my preparation hasn't suffered,' he said.

Sourav, by the way, is reaching Kanpur on Thursday afternoon ' after a circuitous route which first takes him to New Delhi and, then, Lucknow. Two flights are going to be followed by a road journey.

The team's nets will be over by then, but coach John Wright plans an exclusive session for Sourav, who has gone in appeal against the two-Test ban slapped by Clive Lloyd, Match Referee in last Saturday's Platinum Jubilee Cup face-off with Pakistan.

Sourav would have left by this evening itself, but got delayed because many hours were spent watching a video recording of the stoppage-ridden Pakistan innings.

It's after viewing a cassette, procured by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), that Sourav began working on his appeal proper. As with his 'intent to appeal,' sent on Monday evening, this too is going to the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) in-house lawyer, Urvashi Naidoo.

Sourav, for his part, added: 'It's another matter if the ICC decides not to uphold my appeal' But, till a decision comes, I'm focused on the Kanpur Test'

Lloyd's ruling that the Indians were five overs short is what has set the cat among the pigeons.

Given that the bowlers were in the red by more than two overs for the second time in less than a year, Sourav (as captain) got booked again.

The second punishment automatically raised this Code of Conduct breach to Level 3, where the minimum penalty is being banned for two Tests/four ODIs.

Incidentally, one learns Lloyd only gave an allowance for 22 minutes and not 24 as was widely assumed till the BCCI received his chargesheet.

Sourav's appeal proper, it's understood, won't confront Lloyd but keep harping on his No.1 defense: That time was lost, not wasted, on a night when dew was exceptionally high.

Going by what took centrestage, one wonders whether Lloyd tapped the Met Department here to ascertain the increase in the dew-level'

Apparently, Lloyd's chargesheet doesn't list the 22 minutes' break-up and, so, Sourav may ask for a clarification.

As announced, New Zealand barrister Tim Castle is the ICC-appointed Appeals Commissioner.

Privately, within the BCCI, there's dismay over the naming of a New Zealander. India and New Zealand, after all, haven't been speaking in the same voice in the ICC.

One hopes, though, that the experienced Castle ' a member of the Code of Conduct Commission ' won't in any way be influenced by intra-ICC politics.

Meanwhile, an ICC spokesman confirmed that the Wellington-based Appeals Commissioner will receive the 'relevant material' by early Thursday.

The couriered items include Lloyd's chargesheet, Sourav's 'intent to appeal' communication and a recording of the Pakistan innings.

The appeal proper should follow.

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