Gautam Gambhir was handed a four-match ban for his altercation with Delhi Ranji coach KP Bhaskar during the Vijay Hazare Trophy yesterday. However, Justice Vikramjit Singh has decided to suspend the ban for a period of two years conditional on Gambhir not committing any such similar wrongdoing.
An enquiry committee constituted by Delhi and Districts Cricket Association administrator Justice Vikramjit Sen comprising chairman Madan Lal, Rajendra R Rathore, and advocate Soni Singh adjudged Gautam Gambhir guilty of unruly behaviour yesterday, terming his conduct with Delhi Ranji coach KP Bhaskar as serious and inappropriate.
However, Sen decided to suspend the ban for a two-year period ending on March 30th, 2019 following the condition that Gambhir does not indulge in any such inappropriate behaviour.
"The Committee Members agree that considering the above facts and circumstances that have come to light, Mr Gambhir's actions towards Mr Pillai with premeditated intent to humiliate the coach were highly inappropriate and of serious nature. It is recommended that such inappropriate behaviour requires
"The Committee members feel the necessity of deterrent effect of penalties on account of such seriously inappropriate behaviour to inculcate discipline within the team and in the interest of the game of cricket. Having such considerations and findings as above in mind, the Committee Members recommend that Mr Gautam Gambhir should not be allowed to play in 4 (four) First Class matches of the Delhi team at the start of the next season, i.e. 2017-18 on account of his deliberate and pre-meditated inappropriate behaviour," he said.
Gambhir had a heated argument with Bhaskar after Delhi's campaign came to an end in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Bhubneshwar, earlier this year. During the altercation, Gambhir had allegedly abused the coach, an accusation the 35-year old has denied. The committee, however, criticised Gambhir for his outburst.
"It is evident from the above that the actions/conduct of Mr Gambhir on 6th March 2017 against the coach and the confrontation were pre-meditated as he called for the meeting after the match at lunchtime on a day when he was not even playing the match and he had remained in the hotel, since about lunchtime.
"It is further evident that Mr Gambhir intended to use some very sharp/inappropriate language and admittedly the arguments between the coach and Mr Gambhir were expected to be so 'heated' that he thought it prudent to save some of the younger players from witnessing it and therefore sent them outside the dressing room before starting the confrontation," the statement said.
Gambhir in his defence accused Bhaskar of playing with careers of young players like Nitish Rana, Unmukt Chand, and Pawan Negi and making them insecure. The committee did not overlook Gambhir's allegations and recommended the formation of a grievance redressal forum.
"The Committee also recommends, in view of the significant grievances raised by Mr Gambhir during the hearing, which seem to have been given vent to in an inappropriate manner on account of lack of a proper grievance redressal system for the team members, that a grievance redressal system within the team is urgently required," the statement read.
"It is also recommended that disciplinary action rules and mechanism of imposing penalty are required to be formulated to inculcate discipline in the team members and for predictability and deterrence, where players know that an act of indiscipline would have serious repercussions and are therefore deterred from committing them."
The committee clarified that the position of coach demands respect from the players further in the statement.
"The position of a coach among the team members is of high respect and dignity. It is a serious disgrace to a coach to be humiliated in front of team members by one of the team members even though if it is a senior player.
"The actions of Mr Gambhir, however well intended, cannot be said to be in the interest of the team, or its performance or the game as it was done on the very last day of the season and therefore could not have been any corrective effect. The actions of Mr Gambhir were not in the spirit of the game," the statement said.
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