Suspended 4-match ban for Gambhir

Coach too admonished

Suspended 4-match ban for Gambhir
Veteran cricketer Gautam Gambhir has been slapped with a suspended four first-class matches ban following his unpleasant showdown with Delhi coach K Bhaskar Pillai on the last day of the Vijay Hazare match at Bhubaneshwar in March.

The inquiry committee, formed by Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) Administrator Justice Vikramajit Sen, comprised former India all-rounder Madan Lal, retired diplomat Rajendra Rathore and advocate Soni. It was alleged that Gambhir had used abusive language against team coach Pillai on March 6, 2017.

The committee, after hearing both Gambhir and Pillai, found the cricketer's behaviour towards the coach “highly inappropriate” and added it “cannot be condoned.”

Pillai had submitted that the players were not properly recommended for selection by Gambhir and the latter “exercised favo­uri­tism” towards certain members of his “club.”

In his ruling on the report, Justice Sen said, “In the prevailing circumstances, I consider it appropriate and expedient, while accepting the Report & Recommendations of the Committee, to suspend the punishment for a period of two years ending on 30th March, 2019 conditional on Gautam Gambhir accepting this order and provided he does not commit any similar transgressions.”

On the afternoon of March 6, Pillai said he found himself at the receiving end of Gambhir's volley of abuses “without any instigation or perceptible reason” in front of some team members in the dressing room.

Gambhir denied using abusive language and said he only had “heated argument” with the coach, before which he sent three young players out of the dressing room. Gambhir, who was not playing the match due to fever, admitted he had “called for the meeting with Mr Pillai, because ever since he joined as coach of the Delhi team, he would frequently insist on recommending dropping players from the team to give chance to younger players.”

Gambhir also submitted “that in a few matches where the Delhi team lost very badly, Mr Pillai would not have any meeting with the team after the matches which was very discouraging and disappointing for the team members.”

The committee, however, was of the opinion that “even in the event of serious disagreement on important issues with the coach, it could not have been dealt with in a manner as resorted to by Mr. Gambhir.”

The committee also felt that Mr Pillai's explanation on not having team meetings after defeat indicate “that he was not able to manage the team very well and gave up on his responsibilities.”


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