Mike Denness and Indian cricket team incident

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The incident in question concerns cricket match referee Mike Denness, a former England player, who found six India players guilty of various offences during a Test Match between India and South Africa played 16–20 november 2001 at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth. Denness' decisions initiated protests by the Indian team.

The actions of the match referee in handing punishments to six players from one team was unprecedented and the matter is still viewed with controversy in India:[1]

The result of the discussions between the officials was that a subsequent Test match was deemed "unofficial" by the ICC and Virender Sehwag was made to serve his one-match ban.

The match referee was heavily criticised for failing to explain his actions at a press conference[3] thus infuriating the Indian cricket establishment and precipitating an international cricketing,[4] political[5] and administrative[6] crisis.

Public outrage, "Unofficial" Test and Sehwag's ban[edit]

There was a huge outrage in India where protestors took to the streets and burnt effigies of Denness. The matter was raised in the Indian parliament, the popular press termed Denness a racist, and the ICC was accused of discriminating against the emerging Third World. [7] The public face of the protest was ex-India cricketer and commentator Ravi Shastri who asked at the aforementioned press conference that "If Mike Denness cannot answer questions, why is he here? We know what he looks like." [8]

The BCCI threatened to call off its tour of South Africa unless Mike Denness was replaced as match referee for the Third Test. The ICC supported Denness[9] but the South African board sided with the BCCI's position[10] and replaced Denness, who was not even allowed to enter the stadium, with Denis Lindsay.[11] The ICC declared the match to be "unofficial" and classified it as a "friendly five-day match".[12] The series was officially limited to the two matches already completed with South Africa therefore the 1–0 winners.

ICC upheld the ban on Virender Sehwag for the subsequent test match but overturned the ban on Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.[13] The subsequent England tour to India was placed in jeopardy when India picked Sehwag in the test squad.[14] Subsequent to this development, ICC issued a warning that any match with Sehwag in the cricket team will not be considered an 'official' test match till Sehwag sits out of a Test Match.[15] After negotiations with ECB and ICC and in general interest of cricket, Sehwag was dropped from the team for the first test against England.[16]

Post incident events[edit]

Mike Denness served as match referee in only two more Test matches and three more ODI matches. These were all in the West Indies versus Pakistan series in Sharjah during January and February 2002.

An ICC Disputes Resolution Committee hearing headed by Michael Beloff QC (the then Chairman of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission) was scheduled to hear the case on 6–7 June 2002. But the hearing was postponed a week before its scheduled date due to the ill-health and surgery plans of Mike Denness.[17]

The Resolution Committee never met to decide on the merits of the cases of Mike Denness and the Indian cricket team as the BCCI decided to forgo the case in view of Mike Denness' heart surgery.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fines and bans handed down to Indian players". Cricinfo. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  2. ^ "Tendulkar handed suspended ban from Test cricket". Cricinfo. 19 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  3. ^ "No enlightenment from Denness at farcical press conference". Cricinfo. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  4. ^ "Former cricketers express anger at Denness' decision". Cricinfo. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  5. ^ "Ball tampering controversy aired in Indian parliament". Cricinfo. 22 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  6. ^ "BCCI call for Denness's removal". Cricinfo. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "Cricket outrage unites Indians". news.bbc.co.uk. 23 November 2001. Retrieved 18 April 2008. 
  8. ^ Shastri, Ravi. "rediff.com: cricket channel: Quotes on the Mike Denness controversy". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 18 April 2008. 
  9. ^ "ICC praised Denness' stand against gamesmanship in cricket, and ruled out replacing him for the final Test". Cricinfo. 21 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  10. ^ "South Africa will back India in Denness affair". Cricinfo. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  11. ^ "UCBSA issues statement regarding third Castle Lager/MTN Test". Cricinfo. 22 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  12. ^ "ICC sets out latest position regarding South Africa v India". Cricinfo. 23 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  13. ^ "Centurion Match Is Not a Test and Sehwag Ban Will Stand, Says ICC". Cricinfo. 27 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  14. ^ "India name Sehwag in 14-member squad for Mohali Test". Cricinfo. 27 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  15. ^ "ICC sets out its position on 1st Test at Mohali". Cricinfo. 27 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  16. ^ "Mohali Test will go ahead after BCCI agree to exclude Sehwag". Cricinfo. 30 November 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  17. ^ "ICC disputes resolution Committee deferred". Cricinfo. 31 May 2002. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  18. ^ "India to 'forget' Mike Denness affair". Cricinfo. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2007.