India to appeal Ganguly ban
Ranbir Singh Mahendra, the president of the Indian board, has said that an appeal is being planned against the six-match ban imposed on Sourav Ganguly after India failed to bowl their overs quickly enough in Tuesday's fourth ODI at Ahmedabad. "There is a provision for an appeal," Mahendra said, "and we should definitely make use of it."
The Press Trust of India quoted "sources close to the skipper" as saying that "Ganguly has decided to appeal against the decision ... [he] will file the appeal today".
If Ganguly does appeal it will be the second time he has challenged an ICC ban recently. In November 2004 he successfully appealed against a two-Test ban imposed by Clive Lloyd, again for a tardy over rate.
Chris Broad, the match referee this time, informed the Indian team management of his decision at the end of the Ahmedabad game, before they announced the squad for the remaining two matches. Rahul Dravid will captain the side in Ganguly's absence.
"This is the second match in succession that India has not bowled its overs within the required timeframe and no excuse was offered by the captain," Broad said in a statement. "I made Ganguly aware of the potential penalties at the previous hearing and it is unfortunate that this warning was not heeded."
In addition to the ban, Ganguly, as captain, was fined 30% of his match fee for the slow over rate. The other Indian players were fined 15% of their match fees.
Ganguly was fined 100% of his match fee after the previous game at Jamshedpur, and has been punished for being a repeat offender. At a hearing conducted at the ground at the end of the game Ganguly was penalised and as this is his second breach of this provision within 12 months, the penalty is automatically upgraded from Level 2 to a Level 3 breach under the ICC Code.
Sridharan Sriram, who claimed five wickets, including a hat-trick, in Tamil Nadu's win in the semi-finals of the Ranji one-day tournament today, was included in the side in Ganguly's place. The selectors also decided to pick Anil Kumble for the final two games, and have left out Irfan Pathan.
Indian squad for the final two one-dayers
Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Sridharan Sriram, Dinesh Mongia, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Zaheer Khan, Murali Kartik, Anil Kumble, Ajit Agarkar, Ashish Nehra.