BCCI to ask ICC for a total ban on sledging

Updated on Feb 14, 2008 11:20 AM IST
BCCI Secy Niranjan Shah says he would be putting forth the proposal at the ICC meet in Kuala Lumpur next week, reports G Krishnan.
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Hindustan Times | ByG. Krishnan, Rajkot

In what will be an unprecedented move in any sport, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is all set to ask the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a complete ban on sledging.

In an interview with Hindustan Times on Wednesday, Board secretary Niranjan Shah said he would be putting forth the proposal at the ICC Chief Executives Committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur next week.

“Cricket is not a physical, contact sport and we don’t see why there should be any abusive language at all,” said Shah. When asked how this could possibly be implemented and what exactly would define a “sledge”, he replied that any word that bordered on the offensive should not be allowed.

“There will be cultural issues raised post the Sydney incident, so it's better to just cut out everything that could remotely cause a problem,” said Shah.

“Like the word ‘bastard’ is not considered offensive to Aussies, but it is to us Indians. Or the phrase ‘maa ki’ is not that big a deal in India as it’s commonly used but someone else might find it offensive.”

Already, the junior members of the Indian cricket team have been advised by the Board to avoid saying things that could
be construed as offensive. “They should follow their seniors’ (exemplary) behaviour,” said Shah.

While the BCCI has promised to “back its players” they would not like another “sledging” incident. After all, the Harbhajan episode cost the Board a whopping half a crore rupees.

Meanwhile, Shah said umpires Suresh Shastri and Amish Saheba could be offered ICC contracts for joining its elite panel. This though, will only be confirmed only by March-end.

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