India's over-rate earns Ganguly two-Test ban

Sourav Ganguly, the Indian cricket captain, was suspended yesterday for two Tests due to India's slow bowling rate in the one-day international against Pakistan in Calcutta on Saturday.

Sourav Ganguly, the Indian cricket captain, was suspended yesterday for two Tests due to India's slow bowling rate in the one-day international against Pakistan in Calcutta on Saturday.

It is the first time a captain has been banned for a team's slow over-rate and Ganguly will miss the two-Test home series against South Africa which begins on 20 November. The match referee, Clive Lloyd, penalised Ganguly for the violation of the players' code of conduct, but the batsman is set to appeal.

"The ICC [International Cricket Council] code relating to over-rates needs to be strictly observed and it is important... to have matches finished on time," Lloyd said. "The allotted three and a half hours is ample time to bowl the required 50 overs."

Pakistan won the match by six wickets, which was played to celebrate the Indian Cricket Board's 75th anniversary.

Ganguly had breached clause C1 of the code of conduct, which is a level two offence, and would not ordinarily carry a ban. However, this was his second such offence within 12 months, and accordingly, it was treated as a level three offence.

Lloyd also fined two players, Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana and India's Irfan Pathan for a mid-pitch spat during the match.

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