The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav issue trapped in technicalities

Calcutta: Despite International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani’s denial on the Sourav Ganguly issue, late on Tuesday, The Telegraph’s sources maintain the matter will indeed head for arbitration.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) nominee on the all-powerful Executive Board, wasn’t available for comment, but a source reacted from London: “An arbiter is going to be appointed. One will soon know who stands where'”

Fair enough, but Mani’s denial suggests all may not be well between him and Dalmiya, a predecessor of his. Till the other day, they shared an enviable rapport...

Actually, it’s possible that Mani and the other ICC officials are furious the ban-related development leaked immediately after the Executive Board meeting on Monday.

Another source, also in London, explained: “Strictly technically, the Executive Board took up the BCCI’s objection to the application of the Code of Conduct provisions and Sourav wasn’t specifically named in the deliberations'”

That probably did happen, but it’s obvious the BCCI has only been fighting for the regular Team India captain.

Mani, of course, has also stated the ICC was “awaiting a reply (on the ban issue)” from the BCCI. The next few days, then, could see more technical points being scored.

Apparently, irrespective of what was discussed and agreed upon within the Executive Board, the BCCI must still formally ask for arbitration.

That’s hardly a big ask.

For the record, never before has the ICC reopened a ‘chapter’ as the Code of Conduct has no provision for review once an appeals commissioner has upheld a ban.

Sourav’s appeal against Match Referee Chris Broad’s six-ODI ban, imposed after the April 12 ODI versus Pakistan, was spiked by appeals commissioner Michael Beloff.

The man at the centre of the storm is, understandably, awaiting an official word ' either from the ICC or the BCCI.

“Till now (late on Tuesday), I haven’t heard anything and, so, wouldn’t like to say anything,” Sourav said, when contacted in London.

Incidentally, he has already served one-third of his ban.

Sourav, who has been doing reasonably well for Glamorgan, is going to be back in Cardiff on Wednesday.

The London trip was to see off wife Dona and daughter Sana, who left for Calcutta after a six-week vacation.

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