November 20, 2001

South Africa will back India in Denness affair

South Africa will support "virtually any action" to ensure that the third and final Test match between South Africa and India goes ahead on Friday, United Cricket Board communications director Bronwyn Wilkinson said on Tuesday.

This would include replacing Mike Denness as match referee, confirmed Wilkinson, if that was the only way to persuade the Indian team not to abort the tour and fly home ahead of the SuperSport Park match.

The UCB position follows a day of top-level discussions after Denness' decision to take disciplinary action against six Indian players, including a one-Test ban that would prevent Virender Sehwag taking part in the third Test.

Wilkinson said that it was vitally important to South African cricket that the third Test was played and that the UCB could not afford to have it cancelled.