NEW DELHI, REUTER — The Nawab of Pataudi Indian Cricket’s elder statesman, says it may be best to postpone England’s winter tour of India until the vexed issue of players who have South African links is resolved.

Pataudi, a former captain of India, gave his view as antiapartheid leaders condemned the appointment of Grahan Gooch, who led a rebel tour to South Africa in 1982, as skipper for the forthcoming England tour.

Pataudi told reporters on Sunday a fresh ban on Gooch, who was barred from international Cricket for three years following the 1982 tour, might split the Cricket community worldwide.

“Some nations may combine together to reintroduce South Africa into the fold of international Cricket,” he said.

“It might be fitting for the tour to be postponed. Until this thorny problem is sorted out,” he said.

Anand Sharma, a ruling congress (I) party Member of Parliament and chairman of World Youth Action against apartheid, said at a press conference that he and other MPS would protest.

“No compromise is possible on matters pertaining to apartheid in sport,” he said, accusing the ICCB of appointing Gooch as a deliberate insult to India because of the country’s firm stand against apartheid.

Gooch, already on a United Nations blacklist said after being chosen to lead the tour that he had to break a contract to play for South African team western province before he could accept the captaincy.

India, bidding with Ganada and Wales to host the 1994 commonwealth games, is unlikely to take any decision on the Gooch issue before a September 15 vote on the venue for the games, Sports officials said.

The government fears that a ban on Gooch might lead the TCCB to cancel the tour, scheduled to begin In December. But failure to take a firm stand might lead strongly antiapartheid African nations to oppose New Delhi’s bid for the games.

Article extracted from this publication >>