The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ball now in Mani’s discretionary court
- BCCI wants sourav ban discussed on monday

Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has formally intimated the International Cricket Council (ICC) that it wishes to raise Sourav Ganguly’s six-ODI ban at Monday’s Executive Board meeting.

Confirming that from London, ICC spokesman Jon Long said late on Thursday: “A communication has been received, but I can’t predict how it will be taken up.”

As the agenda has already been circulated, Long explained president Ehsan Mani is going to exercise his “discretionary powers” to determine whether the issue can be raised.

Mani, of course, defended the ban in 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...”

Assuming Mani relents and allows a discussion, much is then going to depend on BCCI immediate past president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s networking skills.

Despite the change in guard, Dalmiya remains the BCCI representative on the all-important Executive Board. He’s a former ICC chief too.

Any request for a review (not an appeal, as it’s not permissible) of the ban ' slapped by Match Referee Chris Broad and upheld by appeals commissioner Michael Beloff ' has to be made before the Executive Board only.

Moreover, the review-request has to come from the home board and not the affected player.

Dalmiya, who leaves for London on Friday, hasn’t upped the ante. Very unusual, but it’s suggestive (as of now) of the rather weak case in the regular captain’s defence.

Again, somewhat unusually, Dalmiya didn’t offer a comment, but a confidant did speak to The Telegraph: “It’s not that the BCCI is lying low' Fact is we’ve got to gauge the feelings of others on the Executive Board. At this stage, saying anything more could hurt Sourav.”

Sourav, it may be recalled, got banned for Team India’s slow over-rate in the Ahmedabad ODI against Pakistan on April 12. That he was warned in the previous match (Jamshedpur) didn’t help him at all.

The BCCI has been insisting a captain can’t specifically be held accountable, but Beloff accepted Broad’s contention that the slow over-rate was deliberate and violated the “spirit of the game.”

Last November, among other reasons, an extraordinary amount of dew at the Eden saved Sourav after the Clive Lloyd-imposed ban for a similar offence.

Six months later, the heat-and-humidity argument didn’t work.

Sourav, incidentally, has served one-third of the ban.

Besides the ten Full (Test-playing) Members, the Executive Board features three Associates as well. The latter category representatives are decided by rotation.

Mani apart, vice-president Percy Sonn and chief executive Malcolm Speed also have seats.

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