The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Once tour begins, conduct rules tick 24x7

Calcutta, Nov. 26: Till late tonight, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hadn’t reacted to Greg Chappell’s middle-finger act.

Given that the brass appear paranoid about the AGM, to be reconvened here on Tuesday, it won’t surprise if there’s no comment tomorrow either.

Not even after the coach’s admission becomes public.

Privately, however, a senior official told The Telegraph: “Chappell should, at least, be asked to explain his conduct' At this moment, though, we’re negotiating googlies bowled by the observer (former chief election commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy) for the AGM'.”

Apparently, nothing may be done till after the elections have determined who runs the cash-rich BCCI.

Again, because of AGM-related issues, nobody could confirm whether Chappell had violated one of the clauses of his contract which runs till the 2007 World Cup.

He has, of course, breached the all-supreme International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials.

Chappell, therefore, risks being accused of bringing the game into disrepute and inviting a penalty for violating C-2 of the Code.

The C-2 bit is unambiguous: “Players and/or Team Officials shall at no time engage in conduct unbecoming to their status which could bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute.”

It’s widely assumed that the Code is only operative during Tests, ODIs and tour matches, but the “definition” of a series/tour (as spelt out in the Code) is revealing.

The definition includes: “For the purposes of the Code of Conduct, a tour shall start on (and include) the first day when the touring squad of players (or the first of the touring squad of players) arrives in the country of the tour until (and including) the day on which the touring squad of players (or the last of the touring squad of players) leaves'”

The home team is covered by the same provision(s).

Charges are framed by the match referee, but it’s not clear whether Jeff Crowe is going to act on what has been shown on TV and reported in print.

The penalty ' least being a reprimand and/or a fine to a maximum ban for one Test or two ODIs ' depends on how a player/team official is charged.

Without going into specifics, one-time South African cricket supremo Dr Ali Bacher, who is in the city, agreed that ungentlemanly gestures hurt the sport.

“I don’t wish to join a controversy, but such gestures do bring the game into disrepute,” he said, speaking exclusively.

Chappell’s contract details aren’t known, but the one between the BCCI and the players has a clause saying they will be “governed” by its own rules and regulations and the Code put in place by the ICC.

Ironically, two months ago, Chappell had (among other things) put a question mark on Sourav Ganguly’s standards of discipline.

That was contained in an e-mail ' which got leaked ' to the BCCI brass. Now, Chappell has exposed himself to being probed for indiscipline.

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