English match referee Mike Denness clarified on Wednesday he had not charged Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar with tampering with the ball and said his decision was misunderstood.
'Tampering seems to be the instant word that everyone wants to use,' Denness told a newspaper in his first reaction to the verdicts that snowballed into a major crisis in the cricket world.
'Tendulkar was punished not for tampering with the ball, but for failing to call up an umpire to supervise his attempts to clean the ball,' Denness was quoted as saying.
Denness' latest remarks contradict his own statement, released through the ICC last week, that Tendulkar had been punished for 'alleged interference with the match ball, thus changing its condition.'
The ICC said Tendulkar had 'brought the game into disrepute by acting on the ball'. He was fined 75 per cent of his match fees and handed a one-match suspended ban.
Television footage showed Tendulkar trying to clean the seam with his fingers, but there was no complaint from on-field umpires that the ball had been tampered with.
Denness, 60, however did not believe he had over-reacted in punishing Tendulkar, a national icon widely regarded for his clean image both on and off the field.
'If someone says you have got your decisions wrong and they can justify it, you can have a discussion and you can learn from it,' Denness said.
The report said 'Denness had never been afraid to make unpopular decisions as chairman of the England Cricket Board's pitches committee and it looks as if he carries that determination into his role as match referee.'More stories on Indian cricket
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