Ask Warne to apologise to Indian viewers for smoking

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Panaji, May 23 (UNI) Protesting against smoking of a cigarette by Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne in the pit during his team's match against Kolkata Night Riders at Eden Garden in Indian Premier League tournament, National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE-India) genaral secretary Dr Shekar Salkar has demanded apology for his ''reckless behaviour''.

Dr Salkar today wrote a letter to IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), condemning the act. A copy of which was handed to mediapersons here.

Speaking to mediapersons here, he said in the letter he had stated that ''we were aghast to see Mr Warne, a cricketer of international standing, smoking during the widely-watched IPL match.'' A daily newspaper in its May 21 daily has carried a photograph of his ''reckless behaviour'', enlightening its readers of his yet another foolish escapade.

''Hope you are aware that smoking in public places is a criminal offence in India and IPL is no exception to the rule. Now if, Mr Warne is not forewarned about the legal repercussions of his mindless act, it is high time that he be publicly warned about it. I demand that this act of Mr Warne should promptly be reported to International Cricket Council (ICC) officials as well as appropriate authorities in Australia. Warne should be asked to apologise to Indian viewers and take a promise from him that there would be no public display of his disrelishing vice,'' he wrote to Mr Modi.

Dr Salkar said the IPL should go out of its way to ensure that its players and officials present a legal and morally justifiable picture in future. Let them know that those stubs in their hands would motivate their young fans in the wrong way, producing pathological smokers and cancer patients in a country yearning for idols.

''We also apprehend that Warne's cigarette may have ''dope'' in it as such he is a fit case to be brought before the anti-doping squad.

Going by his credentials, an instant inquiry of this nature be demanded,'' he added.

UNI SRN SSS ARK US1929

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