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Gavaskar ready to reply if ICC needs

cricket Updated: Jan 27, 2008 16:28 IST

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Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar will defend himself personally if the International Cricket Council (ICC) Executive Board asks him to explain his pointed attack on match referee Mike Procter.

According to media reports in Adelaide, Gavaskar has been asked to explain the outburst in the executive board meeting in March.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed and Cricket Manager Dave Richardson have also reportedly spoken to Gavaskar on the matter.

In a newspaper column a few days ago, Gavaskar had questioned Procter's decision to impose a three-Test ban on Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for racist abuse in the controversial Sydney Test.

Gavaskar had said that Indian fans, and not he, wanted to know why Procter took a white man's word over a brown man's testimony during the hearing.

Procter upheld Andrew Symonds' claim, backed up by two of his team-mates, that Harbhajan had called him a "monkey" even as the Indian's batting partner, the venerable Sachin Tendulkar, contradicted the host side's claim.

Gavaskar has been under attack ever since here but the former captain insisted that he merely wrote what innumerable callers were trying to find out from him.

"At no stage, have I called anyone a racist. I wrote about what cricket fans had been wanting to know. It wasn't necessarily my viewpoint on the issue," he insisted.