India to propose ban on sledging at ICC meeting

NEW DELHI, Feb 14, 2008 (AFP) – India will propose a ban on sledging — verbally abusing opponents to put them off their game — at an upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting, a top official said here Thursday. “Cricket is not a physical, contact sport and we don’t see why there should be any abusive language at all,” Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah told the Hindustan Times.

He said he would put forward the proposal at the ICC chief executives committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next week.

India’s recent controversy-marred Test series in Australia was in jeopardy after off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was banned for allegedly racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the second Test in Sydney.

The Indian bowler was later cleared of the charges by a New Zealand judge at an ICC appeal hearing due to lack of evidence.

Shah said any word that bordered on the offensive should not be allowed.

“There will be cultural issues raised post the Sydney incident, so it’s better to just cut out everything that could remotely cause a problem,” he said.

India, who lost the four-Test series 2-1, are currently playing a triangular one-day series in Australia, also