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'Sree must be banned for the 3rd Test'

Former England captain Atherton says Sreesanth's bowling in 2nd Test was against the spirit of the game.

cricket Updated: Aug 06, 2007 04:38 IST

Former England captain Mike Atherton has called for Sreesanth to be "banned" for the third cricket Test, saying the Indian seamer's bowling in the second match was "completely counter to the spirit of the game".

Sreesanth delivered a beamer to Kevin Pietersen and later a two-foot no-ball to Paul Collingwood on the fourth day of the Trent Bridge Test. He also shouldered rival skipper Michael Vaughan, for which he was handed a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee.

Atherton said a beamer - whether bowled deliberately or not - was a serious offence, and asked Indian captain Rahul Dravid to set the right example by benching Sreesanth for the final Test, starting Thursday at The Oval.

"If bowled deliberately, there cannot be a more cowardly action (than a beamer) on a cricket field. If bowled accidentally, it is still potentially lethal. Either way it should incur an immediate one-match ban," Atherton wrote in Sunday Telegraph.

"Since the match referee Ranjan Madugalle was silent on the issue, it is Rahul Dravid who should take the appropriate disciplinary action ahead of the Oval Test.

"... Only one man, Sreesanth himself, knows whether it was deliberate ... But I have no doubt that Sreesanth's rancorous spell ... Was the most glaring in the match of something that ran completely counter to the spirit of the game."

First Published: Aug 05, 2007 21:00 IST