BCCI to act against players for nightclub brawl
The BCCI is to issue show-cause notices to some Indian players over their alleged involvement in an altercation at a nightclub in St Lucia following the team's last game of the World Twenty20 on May 11. India exited the tournament after failing to win a single match in the second stage.
"The BCCI president has asked the secretary to issue the show-cause notice tomorrow [Tuesday]", Ratnakar Shetty, the board's chief administrative officer, said.
The move comes after the tour manager, Ranjib Biswal, submitted his report on the tour to the board on Monday. The report is believed to have indicted eight players who were at the nightclub - Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, M Vijay, Suresh Raina and Piyush Chawla. Five of them will be touring Zimbabwe for India's next international assignment, but the pull-up is expected to have no impact on their participation in the tour.
"Biswal met the president and secretary and had a discussion on the tour and the report he submitted," Shetty said. "He gave the information about the incident to both. The board also probed into the incident on its own. After considering all the information gathered, the president has decided to issue a show-cause notice to the concerned players."
This is the first instance of the board pulling up so many players in public. But Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, has always had a reputation for being a strict administrator and on this occasion he felt the board was left with little option but to give a warning to the players considering the World Cup is nine months away. And to tolerate such indiscipline, especially after India's exit from the Super Eights in the World Twenty20 for the second year in a row, was inappropriate.
As of now there is no clear punishment the players have to bear, but they will be informed about being kept under constant surveillance in every tournament in the future and that any further breach of conduct would only prompt a stricter action from the board.
The notices - which have been sent solely on the basis of the nightclub incident - must be replied to within 15 days.
The incident took place on the evening of May 11, after India lost to Sri Lanka to ensure their elimination from the tournament. The players, who had been placed under restricted movement till then, were allowed to go out. A few - including some named in the report - went to a local nightclub where some Indian fans were also present. It is believed the fans, upset by the team's performance, taunted the players, following which the situation escalated.
Incidentally, Biswal denied reports of the brawl when he returned to India. "There is no truth at all about the brawl. It is all media creation that is doing the rounds,'' he said last week.