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banner Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 17:02 GMT
India defiance puts Test in doubt
India's selectors watch India A on Wednesday
India's selectors watch India A on Wednesday
Indian cricket chief Jagmohan Dalmiya says he will refuse to accept a deadline imposed by the International Cricket Council on the selection of the banned batsman Virender Sehwag.

Sehwag has been controversially named in a squad of 14 for Friday's first Test in Mohali.

The 23-year-old is officially banned for the Test, and if he plays, Nasser Hussain's men would probably be forced to pull out of the tour.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed has given the Indian board a deadline of 0630GMT on Friday to tell him whether Sehwag will be in the starting 11.

Indian batsman Virender Sehwag
England could pull out if Sehwag plays

But Dalmiya insisted: "Who can dictate a deadline to anyone? The team will only be named on the morning of the match."

Chandu Borde, India's chairman of selectors, stressed that the players had been selected on merit alone, adding he had received no directive from Dalmiya.

"Whether Sehwag is allowed to play or not is not my concern," said Borde. "My job is to select the players. That alone is my job. "It's up to the Board to decide."

Speed is due to speak to BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya to attempt to diffuse the situation before the Mohali Test begins.

Earlier, Speed had said: "We're hopeful of achieving a result to allow all of the matches to go ahead as ICC Test matches."

BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya
Dalmiya is making life intolerable for the ICC
Sehwag was given a one-match Test ban after showing dissent during India's second Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth by referee Mike Denness.

The decision met with fury from the Indians, who agreed with South Africa to oust Denness from the third match in the series at Centurion.

The resulting ICC withdrawal of Test status from the match meant that Sehwag could not serve his ban against South Africa.

If he is picked to play, the Test will become unofficial and, having backed the ICC, the England and Wales Cricket Board would be unlikely to allow Hussain's side to participate.

"We've already cancelled the status of one Test match, which I believe is unprecedented and is something that shouldn't have happened," said Speed.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed
Speed believes there is time to reach a solution

"If the ICC had overturned the decision of the match referee that would have been an invitation for this to happen the next time any board is dissatisfied with the decision an ICC official makes."

Sehwag's inclusion in the squad was expected. But what was not expected was the exclusion of fit-again opener Sadogoppan Ramesh.

It means that the novice Connor Williams could open with Shiv Sundar Das.

Otherwise the wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta gets promoted to the top of the order, with Williams missing out and - the dreaded outcome - Sehwag filling a middle-order berth.

India squad: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Rahul Dravid, Shiv Sundar Das, Connor Williams, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Deep Dasgupta, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Sarandeep Singh, Sanjay Bangar, Iqbal Siddiqui, Tinu Yohannan.

BBC Sport's Pat Murphy
"Mr Dalmiya seems determined to prolong this as long as possible"
Chairman of India's selectors Chandu Borde
"We select the team only on merit"
ICC chief executive Malcom Speed
"I think we've made our position very clear"
ECB chairman Lord Maclaurin
ECB chairman Lord Maclaurin: "It isn't an unexpected decision."
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