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Is the Match Referee against India?

June 13, 2006 13:18 IST
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Are the West Indies playing a 12-player team against India, an extra player in the form of the International Cricket Council's Match Referee?

How else does one explain the difference in the penalty meted out to Indian and West Indian players for similar offences?

Consider this:

Dashing opener Virender Sehwag was fined 20 per cent of his match fees in the first Test for excessive appealing.

Windies pacer Pedro Collins has been let off with a 'reprimand' for his reaction on dismissing V V S Laxman on Saturday, the first day of the second Test.

Also in the first Test, West Indies captain Brian Lara was let off by the ICC despite snatching the ball from umpire Asad Rauf and waggling his finger at him when the umpires were unable to come to a decision over M S Dhoni's dismissal and left the decision up to the players.

If that behaviour didn't amount to dissent, we need to look up the dictionary afresh.

And how does the ICC's General Manager-Cricket Dave Richardson defend the Council's decisions?

'Lara got frustrated (after) the umpire forced the players to make a decision. He did get a little frustrated, snatching the ball from the umpire, but he certainly did not show dissent.'

But 'the Sehwag incident was unfortunate. ICC wants to cut down on excessive appealing. We want to prevent players, tell them not to put too much pressure on umpires. He slipped up (on that account).'

And about Dhoni: 'It (the incident) was quite unique. No decision was made. The TV umpire said he could not make a decision, the on-field umpires said we can't make a decision either. Lara tried to facilitate an agreement (which) was not the right way.'

And about Pedro's reprimand, here what Match Referee Jeff Crowe said:

'There needs to be a recognition that each case has a slightly different set of circumstances.

'Pedro still has to realise he needs to adhere to correct procedure and this reprimand is designed to reinforce that point.'

Sounds like a fine case of argument for the sake of argument, if you ask us, but we would like to hear what you think about the decision-making in the series so far.

Tell us!

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