SPORT

Time for 'red card' in TNCA first division

CHENNAI AUG. 26. Sledging is nothing new in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association senior division league. But the incident involving Globe Trotters players in the match against Jolly Rovers seems to have shocked those who were present at the venue as well as the ones who got to hear it.

Competitive and professional is how the league is often described, but things went too far at the IIT-Chemplast ground (Aug. 10 to 12) when abusive language was freely used by a few players. So much so that the umpires — R. Radhakrishnan (chairman, Umpires sub-committee, TNCA) and V. Gururajan — wrote a report to the TNCA President, a copy of which is with The Hindu.

"At this juncture, we'd like to impress upon you Sir that such downright `uncricketing behaviour' against all normal parameters of decency and decorum should be severely dealt with. I hope the matter would be taken up for necessary punitive measures so that such incidents would never again mar neither the name of TNCA nor the game of cricket, both of which are to be revered and respected especially by the players and officials concerned."

Strong words, indeed! But then, the situation seemed to be such. And it mostly involved cricketers who have played for the country.

The league sub-committee is looking into the matter. S.E. Sankar Rao, TNCA joint-secretary, said, "Aashish Kapoor, captain S. Ramesh and T. Kumaran (all Globe Trotters) have attended the inquiry. S. Sriram (Globe Trotters) and Dinesh Mongia (Jolly Rovers) are in the National camp and will be inquired on their return."

The letter said absolute pandemonium broke out on the second day when Radhakrishnan turned down a run-out appeal involving Mongia and Ramesh, Kapoor, Kumaran and Sriram began abusing Mongia. Kapoor was even sent out for breaching the code of conduct.

"During lunch, I (Radhakrishnan) called the captains and managers of both sides for a meeting but things did not improve, with one more incident of direct confrontation by the above four players against Mongia. At this juncture, some of the officials and coach of Jolly Rovers entered the field of play, fearing that the situation would result in a physical confrontation.

"We assured them that no such thing would take place. The behaviour of Mongia and the Jolly Rovers players was exemplary, barring a few retorts by Mongia which were made in proper language."

P.V.H. Babu, chairman, league sub-committee, said everything now depended on Mongia's statement since he is the aggrieved party.

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