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  Wednesday, 21 November, 2001, 17:40 GMT
ICC to stand by Denness
Indians are up in arms at the treatment to Tendulkar
Indians are up in arms at the treatment to Tendulkar
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has refused to replace Mike Denness as match referee for the final Test between India and South Africa starting on Friday.

Instead, in a move that will further infuriate Indians, it has backed Denness to the hilt - insisting he has an unblemished record as a match referee.

India were threatening to boycott the final fixture on their 'Summer Spice' tour unless Mike Denness - who slapped bans on six of their players in the Port Elizabeth Test - was replaced.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had demanded at the very least that if Denness continued for the Centurion Park Test, then his decisions must go through an independent panel.

Sachin Tendulkar and five others were sanctioned by Denness - Tendulkar for ball-tampering, four for excessive appealing, and skipper Sourav Ganguly for failing to control his players.

  Who got what
Sachin Tendulkar: One-match ban (suspended), fined 75% of match fee
Virender Sehwag: Immediate one-match ban, fined 75% of match fee
Harbhajan Singh, Deep Dasgupta and Shiv Sunder Das: Same punishment as Tendulkar
Sourav Ganguly: One-Test, two ODI ban (both suspended), assuming he remains as captain

The players regrouped to draw the match - leaving South Africa 1-0 up with one match to play.

It seems people at all levels are incensed by the actions of Denness.

Former Test wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer accused Denness of inconsistency, telling BBC Sport Online he chose to ignore some bad behaviour by the South Africans.

And ex-cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad said he had decided to raise the issue in parliament because he did not think the ICC was keen to probe its own affairs.

"I think the Indian board should recall the team if the ICC does not take the protest seriously," said Azad, a member of India's World Cup winning squad in 1983.

BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said: "The continuance of Denness as match referee is unacceptable to India.

Mike Denness match referees around the world
Mike Denness match referees around the world

"I had problems requesting the Indian players to continue the second Test on the last day after they were informed of the match referee's verdict."

The ICC said there was no right of appeal on Denness's Port Elizabeth prononucements.

And worse for India, they then confirmed late on Wednesday that Denness would be standing with his full powers in place for the final match in the series.

ICC Chief Executive, Malcolm Speed, said: "We have received a written complaint from the BCCI regarding the actions of Mike Denness during the recent India v South Africa Test match.

"Mike is a former Test captain and a very experienced match referee.

Consistency

"During his time refereeing Test and one-day International matches his record has been one of fairness and consistency.

"On the previous nine occasions where he has acted as referee for a match involving India, no Indian players have been reported or penalised."

"The BCCI has requested that another match referee be appointed to officiate in the third Test. However, we cannot agree to this request."

Earlier, United Cricket Board of South Africa communications director Bronwyn Wilkinson had said it would support "virtually any action" to ensure that the final Test does go ahead.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed
"Mike Denness' appointment will stand"
BBC Sport's Pat Murphy
"India could pull out of the South Africa Tour"

Sports Talk SPORTS TALK
Referee Mike Denness' decisions outraged the Indian authorities Cricket row
Are Indian officials right to take a stand?

Farokh on how Mike Denness was to blame in PE
That menace Denness

India on tour in South Africa megapuff

Unoffical Test

Denness affair

Previous Tests

Who's who

One-day series

Tour fixtures

Past encounters

AUDIO/VIDEO
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