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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Ganguly ban cut to four matches
Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly has already served half of the revised ban
India batsman Sourav Ganguly's ban has been reduced by two games to four one-day internationals after an appeal to the International Cricket Council.

Ganguly was banned in April for his team's slow over rate in two games during a 4-2 home defeat by Pakistan.

He will now have to sit out only two matches as he missed the last two games of the Pakistan series pending his first appeal, which was rejected.

He will able to play in the series in Sri Lanka starting on Saturday.

Rahul Dravid will stay on as captain for the tournament, which also involves West Indies, but he said he welcomed Ganguly's return.

"I am happy for Sourav," he said.

"I don't know when he is coming but he is very welcome to join the team."

New Indian coach Greg Chappell was also happy with the decision.

"The award comes as a bonus as we did not have Sourav in our plans. Now, we have his experience to look forward to," he said.

South African judge Albie Sachs gave the ruling on Thursday after an appeal by the Indian cricket board to the ICC's disputes resolution committee.

Justice Sachs ruled the penalty was too severe in the circumstances, although the rules had been applied correctly.

He said more weight should have been given to the fact India were only five overs behind the required rate.

"His decision underlines the central role that captains have in ensuring their teams adhere to the rules that are in place," said ICC president Ehsan Mani.

"Match referees will continue to apply and police these rules without fear of favour."

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