November 21, 2001

UCB response to ICC statement on match referee

Media Release

The United Cricket Board of South Africa has made every effort to ensure that the third Castle Lager / MTN Test match at Centurion goes ahead successfully. Those efforts have included lengthy communications with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the International Cricket Council, which led to ICC CEO Malcolm Speed talking to BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya in India yesterday (Tuesday).

However, the ICC has responded to Mr Dalmiya's requests and has stated that match referee Mike Denness will remain as the referee for the third Test match and that there is no provision for players to appeal against the punishments he handed out to members of the Indian squad during the second Test match in Port Elizabeth.

"The UCB is extremely sympathetic to the position of the Indian Board and their team on the harshness of the match referee's decisions and the fact that the players have no recourse to appeal. We have expressed this to Mr Dalmiya several times over the past few days, as well as supporting his request to the ICC," said UCBSA Chief Executive Officer Gerald Majola in Johannesburg today.

However, as a full member country of the ICC, the UCBSA is bound by ICC decisions and the current Test series falls under the jurisdiction of the ICC.

The UCBSA, its sponsors and affiliates would suffer substantial financial losses if the third Test match were cancelled.

"These losses would severely hamper our efforts to bring cricket to the whole nation. In the interests of the South African and Indian public who stand to lose the most if the third Test match is not played, we appeal to the BCCI and the Indian team to take the field on Friday and to play this crucial Test," Mr Majola added.

"Although we respect the decision of the ICC, the UCBSA urges the governing body of world cricket to make amendments to the Code of Conduct to make provisions for a process of appeal in regard to all disciplinary hearings. The disciplinary procedures with regard to cricket matches are one of the few instances in world sport in which there is no recourse to appeal for affected players or officials. In the interests of the future of world cricket and those who play the game, this situation should be urgently reviewed. The UCBSA will certainly raise this issue at the next ICC Executive Board meeting in March," Mr Majola concluded.