Sourav Ganguly, India's captain, has been suspended for two Test matches because of India's slow over-rates during the BCCI Platinum Jubilee one-dayer against Pakistan. According to the Press Trust of India, Clive Lloyd, the match referee, made this announcement in a Kolkata hotel a day after the game. The Indian board has announced that it will appeal to the ICC against this decision, and will name a replacement for Ganguly in the India squad only if the appeal is turned down.
Ganguly, who had missed the last two Tests against Australia because of injury, will, thus, miss both of India's Tests against South Africa. Rahul Dravid will captain the team in his place.
Ganguly had breached clause C1 of ICC's code of conduct, which is a level two offence, and would not ordinarily carry a suspension. But because this was his second such offence within a span of 12 months, it was automatically treated as a level three offence, and the suspension followed.
No other current Test captain encourages slow over-rates the way Ganguly does, with frequent consultations with bowlers. He would feel a little hard done by this time, though, as there were plenty of interruptions during the game, and as many as eight ball-changes. Lloyd, who was also the match referee when Ganguly was pulled up for slow over-rates earlier this year, disagreed.
"The ICC code relating to over rates needs to be strictly observed," he said, "and it is important for all the stakeholders in the game to have matches finished on time. The allotted three-and-a-half hours is ample time to bowl the required 50 overs, so captains need to ensure that all efforts are made to achieve this."
Besides the punishment to Ganguly, Lloyd announced that Yousuf Youhana and Irfan Pathan had also been found guilty of breaching ICC's code of conduct. The two exchanged a few words in the 35th over, for which Youhana was fined 75% of his match fee and Pathan was fined 50%.