June 22, 2003

India to 'forget' Mike Denness affair

Wisden CricInfo staff

India is set to "forget" the Mike Denness affair, on "humanitarian grounds," according to an International Cricket Council (ICC) spokesman, reports the Press Trust of India. Denness was the match referee who handed severe punishments to six Indian cricketers during India's last tour of South Africa. According to reports, India has agreed to let bygones be bygones as Denness has undergone a heart surgery and is ailing.

At a meeting with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, the new ICC chief Ehsan Mani is thought to have proposed this course of action. Dalmiya, it is reported, readily agreed to the suggestion.

Denness had caused a storm by holding Sachin Tendulkar guilty of ball-tampering while finding five other cricketers, including Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly, guilty of excessive appealing. Sehwag was the worst affected, being suspended for one Test and thereby missing the first Test against England at home soon after.

At the same time, the ICC is looking to resolve the contracts issue amicably, reported The Times. "Legal solution are the last resort. If all else fails we can go to arbitration, but I hope we can sort out the problem," Mani was quoted as saying.

The ICC chief added, "India has to have contracts with its players in future, like the other nine Test countries. They are the biggest cricket country in the world, with the greatest potential in all aspects."