London, Nov. 19 (NNN) : The International Cricket Council (ICC) Appeals Commission has adjourned hearing on Sourav Ganguly’s appeal against a two-match ban while allowing him to play the first Test against South Africa, beginning in Kanpur on Saturday.
The decision on Ganguly's appeal was deferred after Tim Castle, the Appeals Commissioner appointed to adjudicate on the case, decided to hold a teleconference with the India captain after the match, ICC spokesperson Brenden McClement said from London.
"The Appeals Commissioner Tim Castle wanted to have a teleconference with Ganguly and was originally scheduled to speak to him on the morning of the match,” said McClements, adding, "But Castle thought it was not appropriate to hold the conference on the day of the match and so decided to defer it.”
Ganguly was awarded a two-match suspension by ICC Match Referee Clive Lloyd last week after India bowled a slow over rate during the Platinum Jubilee One-Day International against Pakistan in Kolkata.
This was the second time in 12 months he was found guilty of such an offence after having received a similar warning in a tri-series match in Sydney in February this year, leading to the ban.
Apart from his letter, Ganguly has sent a letter to the ICC saying that an hour's play was lost during Saturday's tie due to dew and injuries to players while the match was extended by only 58 minutes, and that time was not wasted intentionally but lost primarily due to the dew which played havoc with the ground conditions.
Video clippings showed that mud had to be wiped off repeatedly from the boot studs of the fielders and the ball cleaned every now and then. Besides, the white ball had to be changed four times.
Besides suspending Ganguly, ICC match referee Clive Lloyd, who held a hearing of the match officials, also fined India's Irfan Pathan (50 per cent of the match fee) and Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana (75 per cent), finding them guilty of breaching the code of conduct for entering into an altercation during the match.
According to an ICC release, Ganguly breached clause C1 of the code of conduct for players and/or team officials.
Since this was Ganguly's second similar offence within a span of 12 months -- the previous being during the tour of Australia earlier this year -- the seriousness of the offence had become more resulting in his suspension with immediate effect, the release said.
The first Test will be from Kanpur while the second starts at Kolkata from November 28. Ganguly had also missed the last two Tests in the recent four- Test series against Australia due to injury.
"The ICC code relating to over rates needs to be strictly observed and it is important for all the stakeholders in the game, to have matches finished on time," Lloyd said.
"The allotted three and half hours is ample time to bowl the required 50 overs. So captains need to ensure that all efforts are made to achieve this."
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