Fate of series hangs in balance as BCCI comes under pressure

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (UNI) The media, especially the television channels' onslaught has put the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in fix and now the fate of the ongoing series against Australia hangs in balance.

BCCI had tried to play down the whole incident of umpiring blunders and ban on Harbhahan Singh and took a perfect legal course of writing to the game's highest body, the ICC, asking it not to name Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson umpires for the third Test and also not to enforce ban on the spinner.

But as the Channels screamed for ''strong action'', BCCI was forced to keep all its options open, including pulling out of the ill-tempered tour of Australia, if ban on Harbhajan Singh was not revoked and Steve Bucknor was kept as umnpire for the third Test.

The BCCI, has called an emergency Working Committee meeting here tomorrow, to decide its future course.

The BCCI source maintained that tour will continue saying ''One can not call off the tour just like that and because it will have tremendous backlash from other cricket playing countries.'' In an unlikely scenario of India calling off the tour, the BCCI will face a huge US 2 million dollars' fine.

The Indian team management has been asked to stay put in Sydney and not proceed to Canberra till the matter is resolved.

However, with ''public pressure building up and issue becoming a question of National pride'', the BCCI is in a quandary.

The BCCI has already said that ''It will appeal against the ban on Harbhajan as that the allegation of racism against him is unacceptable.'' Intrestingly, BCCI chief Sharad Pawar is to take over as ICC president next year as a perlude to the hosting of 2011 World cup in the sub continent.

UNI HSB RAR KN1940

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