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May 18, 2010
The BCCI has sent show-cause notices to seven of the eight players involved in the pub brawl in St Lucia on May 11, the day India were knocked out of the World Twenty20. According to a board source the seven players are Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja and Murali Vijay. The players have been given a week to explain their role, if any, in the incident and why the board should not take disciplinary action against them. If the responses are found unsatisfactory, the matter will be taken up by the board's disciplinary committee.
Four of the seven players 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.
The eight players had gone to the pub early evening when allegedly some of the fans present inside started heckling one of the players. Unable to stand the taunting, the others reportedly came to the rescue of the team-mate but it only resulted in an unruly brawl.
The BCCI bosses, including its president Shashank Manohar, were said to be highly critical of the incident after hearing the report of team manager Ranjib Biswal in person on Monday in Mumbai. Biswal had submitted his report on Saturday to the board's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty but he stayed back to report to Manohar and N Srinivasan, the board secretary, who was also present at the briefing.
This is the first instance of the board pulling up so many players in public. But Manohar, the BCCI president, has always had the reputation of being a strict administrator and on this occasion he possibly 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, would have been inappropriate.
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.
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