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banner Tuesday, 20 November, 2001, 06:27 GMT
Tendulkar found guilty
Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar is only an occasional bowler in Tests
India's Sachin Tendulkar has been fined and handed a suspended one-match ban after being found guilty of ball tampering during the second Test in South Africa.

He was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute by former England captain Mike Denness, the International Cricket Council match referee on duty for the game at Port Elizabeth.

But there was anger when the decision was announced by Gerald Majola, head of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, with Denness insisting that ICC rules meant he could not answer questions from journalists about the matter.

Sachin Tendulkar holding the ball
Video evidence was used against Tendulkar

Tendulkar was summoned to a hearing with Denness on Monday after TV pictures appeared to show him using his finger nails on the seam of the ball.

The suspended ban will be in force until the end of December and he has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee.

But former Indian Test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar claimed Denness had made a mistake.

"I saw the television footage and he (Tendulkar) was only cleaning the seam, it did not seem any deliberate violation of the law," he said.

"Against a player with an unblemished record like Tendulkar, if you make a decision, you have to think five times," added former opener Chetan Chauhan.

Five other Indian players also appeared before Denness, with Virender Sehwag receiving an immediate one-match ban for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision and attempting to intimidate the umpire by charging."

The decision puts him out of the third and final Test at Centurion.

Mike Denness
Denness: An ICC referee since 1996

Harbhajan Singh, Deep Dasgupta and Shiv Sunder Das were given suspended one-Test bans and fined 75 per cent of their match fees for similar offences.

And captain Sourav Ganguly received a suspended one-Test and two one-day internationals ban for failing to control his team, thereby breaching sections 1 and 2 of the Players and Team Officials Code.

His suspended ban will remain in force until the end of January 2002.

BBC Sport's Pat Murphy
"In India people feel Tendulkar was trapped by the camera cleaning the seam"
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