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Ganguly can play first Test: ICC
November 18, 2004 21:43 IST
Sourav Ganguly is free to play the first Test against South Africa, beginning in Kanpur on Saturday, as the ICC Appeals Commission adjourned the hearing on his appeal against a two-match ban on Thursday.
The decision on Ganguly's appeal was deferred after Tim Castle, the Appeals Commissioner appointed to adjudicate on the case, decided to hold a teleconference with the India captain after the match, ICC spokesperson Brenden McClement said from London.
"The Appeals Commissioner Tim Castle wanted to have a teleconference with Ganguly and was originally scheduled to speak to him on the morning of the match.
"But Castle thought it was not appropriate to hold the conference on the day of the match and so decided to defer it," McClements said.
Ganguly was slapped a two-match suspension by ICC Match Referee Clive Lloyd last week after India bowled a slow over rate during the Platinum Jubilee One-Day International against Pakistan in Kolkata.
It was the second time in 12 months the Indian captain was guilty of such an offence after having received a similar warning in a tri-series match in Sydney in February this year, leading to the ban.
ICC regulations allow Ganguly to play until his appeal is decided upon.
It is learnt that Ganguly had despatched, besides the appeal, a separate letter to the ICC contending that an hour's play was lost during Saturday's tie due to dew and injuries to players while the match was extended by only 58 minutes.
"The letter sent last night is an addition to the appeal and contains information which strengthens his case," sources close to Ganguly said.
"The basic contention of the letter is that time was not wasted intentionally but lost primarily due to the dew which played havoc with the ground conditions," the sources added.
Video clippings showed that mud had to be wiped off repeatedly from the boot studs of the fielders and the ball cleaned every now and then. Besides, the white ball had to be changed four times.
"On top of this, Salman Butt had cramps twice. On the first occasion he called for a runner. This caused some delay as Butt and the runner had to change their positions," they said.