BCCI Reserves Judgement on Warne-RCA Spat

BCCI Reserves Judgement on Warne-RCA Spat
The BCCI today reserved its judgement on an acrimonious public spat between Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne and RCA secretary Sanjay Dixit after summoning both of them for a hearing here.

Both Warne and Dixit appeared before a three-member IPL panel and gave their versions of the incident regarding the change of pitch and the subsequent events which have marred this edition's Twenty20 event.

Dixit had accused Warne of abusing him for not acceding to his request to change the pitch for Rajasthan's home match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 11.

"We had a long meeting and judgement is awaited. We were called together and separately. Hearing was held in a cordial atmosphere. Since it was a hearing, the proceedings were confidential," Dixit said after the hearing which lasted close to three hours.

The IPL panel that conducted the hearing comprised of chairman Chirayu Amin, IPL governing council member Ravi Shastri and IMG official John.

"The hearing was only about the complaint that I had lodged. There was no extraneous element. The three-member panel heard all our points and I will wait for the judgement as I still don't know when it's going to come," Dixit said.

It is not known yet when the BCCI will give its judgement on the issue. A top BCCI official indicated that a media release will be issued later in the day but it was not clear whether it would be the judgement or merely a press note on the proceedings of the hearing.

Warne, who was accompanied by Rajasthan Royals' CEO Sean Morris, was the first to leave after the hearing. Dixit was called for deposing later on.

Warne is alleged to have publicly insulted Dixit after an IPL match in Jaipur, calling him a "liar and egoistic", forcing RR owner Shilpa Shetty to intervene and apologise for the incident.

The ugly incident took place just after the prize distribution ceremony of the match between RR and RCB at the Sawai Mansingh stadium.

Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) had last week lodged a complaint against Shane Warne with the BCCI and the IPL for publicly abusing its secretary Sanjay Dixit for not agreeing to his request of a suitable pitch.

The RCA has alleged that Warne, who has already announced his retirement from IPL as a player, misbehaved with Dixit for not listening to his demand after Rajasthan slumped to a humiliating nine-wicket defeat against in their last home match.

RCA venue director Narendra Joshi has written to IPL's chief operating officer Sunder Raman, alleging that Warne had publicly abused Dixit by calling him "a liar and egoistic" and demanded action against the Australian.

Sources privy to the development alleged that a disappointed Warne walked up to Dixit and abused him for not replying to his messages.

RCA secretary Dixit also filed a separate complaint and had urged the BCCI and IPL to take stern action against Warne for pressuring him to provide a suitable wicket for Rajasthan Royals' home matches.

According to sources, Dixit has forwarded the text messages to BCCI which Warne had repeatedly sent him.

When Dixit was asked about the incident, he said Warne's behaviour probably came out of frustration for the team's back-to-back defeats, which almost jeopardised Rajasthan Royals' chances of making it to the play-offs.

The back-to-back defeats at home against Chennai Super Kings and RCB had made Warne furious as he believed that the change of pitch after Sachin Tendulkar's criticism last month following Mumbai Indians' seven-wicket loss had robbed Rajasthan Royals of the home advantage.

After Tendulkar's remark on the pitch, the BCCI had rushed off its Grounds and Wickets Committee chairman, Venkat Sundaram to Jaipur to prepare a new strip for the remaining IPL matches at the ground.

Following an internal disciplinary inquiry by the franchise, Warne tendered his apology to Dixit. RR Chief Executive Sean Morris, in an e-mail to RCA secretary, stated that the franchise had decided to take disciplinary action against Warne and the Australian has accepted it.

But RCA later on convened a meeting of the RCA Legal Affairs Committee on May 15 and considered the apology letter sent by Royals CEO Sean Morris but was unable to take cognizance in the absence of any details.

Accordingly, the committee decided to file a criminal complaint under IPC sections against Warne and others at the earliest.

The meeting, chaired by RCA vice-president Raj Kumar Mathur, also discussed whether to file a criminal complaint against former Australia batsman Dean Jones for making "insulting remarks" against the association on a television channel.
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