Lack of form in domestic cricket was a factor but it was not the only reason why off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha failed to find a place in the 30-member list of probables for the World Cup.
The Indian cricket board decided to play it safe after its secretary Sanjay Patel was briefed by the ICC technical committee, at a board meeting in Dubai in November, that these two bowlers will be closely scrutinised by umpires if they play international cricket.
The ICC has cracked the whip on illegal bowling actions with Shane Shillingford, Kane Williamson, Sachithra Senanayake, Sohag Gazi, Prosper Utseya, Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine among those who have been under the scanner.
“Patel had a discussion with the ICC technical committee about how they were going about trying to remedy illegal actions. Patel was told that a resolution was passed two years ago, according to which bowlers, even at the slightest hint of suspicion, would be reported. He was shown the minutes of the meeting and was also advised to keep a close watch on Harbhajan and Ojha,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express on the condition of anonymity.
“Harbhajan’s faster delivery, doosra were deliveries which would have attracted an umpire’s attention, while Ojha’s armball was being monitored. We don’t want to take a risk with these two bowlers,” the official added.
In late November, ICC CEO Dave Richardson said that Harbhajan had remodelled his action. “At one stage, his (Harbhajan) action came under a bit of scrutiny. He did a fantastic job in adapting his action to make sure he was now bowling legally,” Richardson had said. As for Ojha, the left-arm spinner still has work to do if the BCCI official is to be believed. “He (Ojha) has to rectify his action to be in contention,” the official said.
Cricket administrator should be above board, all allegations: SC
New Delhi: Asserting that the purity of Cricket had to be maintained at all cost, the Supreme Court on Monday found it “difficult to accept” N Srinivasan’s argument that he had no conflict of interest even as he owned Chennai Super Kings in the IPL while being at the helm of the BCCI.
A bench of Justices TS Thakur and FMI Kalifulla said that conflict of interest was equivalent to bias, which did not have to actually occur but even a likelihood of its occurrence was enough.
“Taking all circumstances in account, it is very difficult to accept your contention that there is no conflict of interest. You being MD of India Cements, India Cements owning CSK, an official of CSK involved in betting and you heading the BCCI,” the bench told Srinivasan’s lawyer Kapil Sibal.
Sibal, however, submitted that by that standard, conflict of interest is prevalent in every sphere of activities and noted that Hockey Federation and FIFA allow it.
The bench proposed that action on the basis of Justice Mudgal report should be taken by the Board, which will be constituted after the election. It, however, asked who should be allowed to fight for BCCI elections. “BCCI must be free from any blemish if we allow it to decide,” said the court, adding: “Who should be allowed to contest? Can a person indicted by the Committee be allowed to contest the elections?.
The bench said that cricket administrators should be “above board and above all the allegations” to decide the future course of correction.
“We are not saying that there is a fraud in getting franchise but once you become a team owner then your interest in team and as a cricket administrator pull you in opposite directions,” the bench told Srinivasan. “You are a contractor (being CSK owner) and also head of a contracting party (BCCI),” it said.