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Symonds gagged from speaking to media

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2008 17:18 IST

PTI
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Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, at the centre of the racism row that led to the ban of Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, has been gagged by Cricket Australia and ICC from commenting on the heated topic in his newspaper column.

Explaining reasons behind not carrying the column, the daily said, "Symonds was gagged by Cricket Australia and threatened with censure by the ICC."

The Sunday Telegraph was not granted access to him despite Symonds' contractual arrangement to write a weekly column through the season, the daily wrote.

Interestingly, Cricket Australia's media office offered to provide a column written by one of their employees under Symonds' name, dealing only with matters relating to play and not the "monkey slur" racism crisis, but the daily rejected the offer.

"Our readers do not deserve to be subject to such censorship," the newspaper said.

"A column written by a CA employee under Symonds' name would not fit in with the principles of this newspaper or this company. Nor would it be of any value to readers.

When times get tough, cricket officialdom goes missing, preferring to protect revenue at all costs, way over and above any obligation to inform the great fans of this country, without whom there would be no game at all," it said.