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Team India in a legal tangle

A petition has been filed by a lawyer raising serious objections against the alleged disrespect shown by Indian team to the national flag.

cricket Updated: Oct 23, 2007 23:41 IST

They may have earned the sobriquet of conquerors of Twenty20 cricket. However, the Indian cricket team could be in the dock for allegedly "insulting" the national tricolour.

A petition has been filed before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Kanpur raising serious objections against the alleged disrespect shown by the team members to the national flag.

While admitting the petition, the court has fixed Oct 25 (Thursday) for the hearing.

Not only Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but also vice captain Yuvraj Singh and all other team members have been accused of desecrating the national flag during the team's Twenty20 win against Pakistan in South Africa.

According to the petitioner Rahul Pandey, a local lawyer, "Dhoni and several other players not only wrapped themselves in the tricolour, but also rolled on the ground. This was followed by spraying of champagne that fell on the flag." He views the entire act as an "insult" to the flag.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah, cine star Shah Rukh Khan and commentator Ravi Shastri have been named as "witnesses" in the plaint, as the euphoric revelling took place in their presence.

The petitioner's counsel Vijay Bakshi told IANS over telephone from Kanpur: "We have cited sufficient evidence in the form of television, magazine and newspaper clippings."

He went on to add, "What we found even more shocking was the fact that despite showing disrespect to the national flag, these players were felicitated and showered with gifts and monetary awards, when they actually deserved punishment for their act."