November 28, 2001

No Test if Sehwag plays, says ECB Chairman


Lord MacLaurin
Lord MacLaurin
Photo CricInfo

The Chairman of the England & Wales Cricket Board, Lord MacLaurin, says England will not play against India if they choose banned batsman Virender Sehwag for the first Test in Mohali.

Sehwag, 23, was banned for one match by referee Mike Denness for excessive appealing in India's second Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth.

The International Cricket Council insist Sehwag has not served his ban, as they have ruled India's third Test against South Africa (which Sehwag missed) to be unofficial, after both teams refused to accept Denness as referee.

Lord MacLaurin insists the tourists will not allow India, who have named Sehwag in their 14-man squad, to defy the ICC.

"We will not play a friendly Test match," MacLaurin told the BBC. "We are there to play real cricket and we support the ICC in that this gentleman has been suspended for one Test match so the gentleman concerned has a one-match ban to sit out.

"We will not be playing against a team with a banned cricketer in it. I sincerely hope that doesn't come to pass. To have had one Test match withdrawn from Test-match status in South Africa is very sad and if it goes on it will be very sad for the game of cricket.

"I'm not unduly surprised. The situation is between the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The ECB's view is that it's a matter between the ICC and the Indian board and we are awaiting developments.

"We will be discussing the matter with our management board and we will decide what to do. The ICC want an answer from India by Friday morning. We are now taking it a day at a time. I sincerely hope good sense prevails for the good of everybody.

"We support the ICC. They are the governing body of world cricket and I would like to think all our other colleagues around the world would also support them."