Gambhir Will Miss Final Test After Ban Upheld
Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir will miss the fourth and final Test against Australia in Nagpur after his one-match ban for elbowing Shane Watson was upheld.
The ICC's appeals commissioner Albie Sachs dismissed the Indian board's (BCCI) appeal against the original ban, handed down by match referee Chris Broad.
“I am prepared to accept that he (Gambhir) had been the victim of prolonged and persistent verbal abuse by members of the Australian team, culminating in a moment of anger that led to his unfortunate lapse," Sachs commented.
“(But) cricket is not a contact sport. Small collisions can lead to big ones. Players must constantly be on guard to avoid physical contact with opposition players. The risk of accidental collision must be cut down. Deliberate collision can never be condoned, however grave the provocation.
“Accordingly, while not without sympathy for Gautam Gambhir, I cannot find that the penalty imposed on him is so disproportionately severe that I should intervene. He concedes that what he did was unacceptable. It was not the first time. Millions of people saw it. Though his excellence does not require him to be better behaved than mediocre players, it does not give him immunity from the rules of the Code of Conduct.
"The cricketing world is entitled to expect from him and all cricketers the highest standards. The rules against actual or threatened violence against opponents must be strictly enforced. The appeal must fail. The penalty stands.”
However, the BCCI has claimed it has objected to the decision of Sachs.
"The said order has been passed without affording the player an opportunity of personal hearing, legal representation and without acceding to his request for certain documents/recordings to be given to him and also denying him an extension of time," a board statement said.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat declared that the case was closed:
“Although we have received an objection letter from the BCCI, there is nothing more that we can do as the Appeal Commissioner’s decision is a final and binding decision.
“The matter is now closed and the ICC will make no further comment on the case.”
Gambhir went on to score a double-century in the match in New Delhi, which was drawn. India lead the series 1-0 and Gambhir's unavailabiilty should give Subramaniam Badrinath the chance to make his Test debut with Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman opening the batting alongside Virender Sehwag although India have named uncapped Tamil Nadu batsman Murali Vijay as cover.
© Cricket World 2008