Ganguly's appeal rejected

Sourav Ganguly's appeal against the six-match ban for slow over-rates has been rejected by Michael Beloff QC, the ICC appeals commissioner

Cricinfo staff

Sourav Ganguly: ruled out of the first four games of the triangular tournament in Sri Lanka © Getty Images
Sourav Ganguly's appeal against his six-match ban for slow over-rates has been rejected by Michael Beloff QC, the ICC appeals commissioner. In a 23-page judgment, Beloff agreed with the decision taken by Chris Broad, the match referee. However, there was a minor consolation for Ganguly when the ICC later announced that the two matches he missed at the end of the Pakistan series would be counted in the six-match ban, so that Ganguly will now only miss India's next four one-dayers.
Beloff said: "The appellant was notified that India bowled with no energy; and he was, as captain, clearly being held responsible for that underperformance, which itself was said to be the cause of the failure to achieve the minimum over-rate."
In his appeal, Ganguly had argued that the extreme heat was the reason for the tardiness, but Beloff dismissed that argument. "Cricket is a game played in all kinds of climates; it cannot be right that the mere fact of the heat and humidity will excuse a failure to achieve the minimum over-rate."
He also explained why he had asked for a written submission from Ganguly, instead of conducting an oral hearing. "While I acknowledge without reservation the need to observe the rules of natural justice, it must be recalled that natural justice does not automatically require an oral hearing," he said. "What is essential is that the appellant is made aware of the case against him and that he has a fair opportunity to make his own case, which, in all the circumstances, I consider that he had."
Later Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, announced that the two matches Ganguly had already missed would be included in the ban. "The initial decision of the match referee to impose this ban clearly had an impact on the ability of the Indian team to determine and select the make-up of its side," said Speed. "In light of this, the last two matches of India's series against Pakistan, where the possible suspension of the Indian captain impacted on the selection decisions of the Board, will count as the first two matches served under this sentence." Ganguly has thus been ruled out of the first four matches of the triangular one-day tournament in Sri Lanka in August, in which West Indies will be the third team.
According to the ICC Code of Conduct, no further appeal can be made by Ganguly in this matter.