ICC commissioner rejects Gambhir’s appeal, BCCI is livid


New Delhi/ Sydney : India Test opener Gautam Gambhir’s appeal against his one-Test ban has been upheld by International Cricket Council’s (ICC) lead appeals commissioner Justice Albie Sachs’s, but the Indian cricket board Tuesday rejected the order.

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The Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI), however, is livid that the appeals commissioner has refused hear the player out or has he acceded to the request for some documents and recording to be given to him. Sachs has also refused to give Gambhir some time to present his case.

Justice Sachs upheld Match referee Chris Borad’s decision to ban Gambhir for one Test for elbowing Shane Watson while taking a run in the third Test in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Australian media and the team seemed to worked overtime to see Gambhir did not play in the fourth and the last Test at Nagpur, starting Thursday.

Gambhir is the leading run-scorer in the series and Hussey said the opener had exceeded the Australians’ expectations by balancing his exuberant strokeplay with batting discipline.

The Australian media quoted an ICC spokesman expressing his inability to say whether Gambhir’s appeal would be decided before the fourth Test, a game that they have to win to square the series and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Michael Hussey is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as describing Gambhir as a “punchy” character who goes looking for verbal fights and said it would be frustrating if he is allowed to play in the series decider because of the protracted ICC appeals process.

Hussey said the Australians had not tried to provoke Gambhir, who has been at the centre of tangles with Watson, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich, leading captain Ricky Ponting to urge his players to avoid getting drawn into such confrontations as they attempt to take the 20 Indian wickets needed to level the series in Nagpur.

“He’s a very good player. He must have a very good mind as well because in the first couple of games he looked like he wanted to score quickly and I know he was chirping away to a couple of players that we weren’t scoring fast enough,” Hussey said.

“He managed to, in the last innings, be very patient and very disciplined outside off stump. That showed he has got a pretty good mind to perhaps not do what he was preaching.

“It hasn’t been a plan to go at him and talk. He does look around the field looking to engage certain players and get involved in that sort of thing and maybe that is part of his character to look for a bit of a clash to try and pump himself up a bit more. He does seem like a punchy sort of character,” said Hussey, who likened Gambhir to former Australian Test opener Justin Langer.

Asked whether there was frustration in the Australian dressing room that Gambhir could still play in the last Test if appeals commissioner Albie Sachs was unable to deliver a verdict before tomorrow, Hussey said: “A little bit. We were hoping he would not play in the last Test because he has been in unbelievable form but that is out of my control. That is the process that’s in place and there is not much we can really do about it.”

Hussey said it was a good thing the Australian players had not retreated from the Indians’ pronounced verbal aggression. “They have not taken it on the chin and shied away, they have been willing to bite back. I think that is a sign of character. Obviously we don’t want to go over the top but if a guy does needle you, you’re not going to back away from it.”