Warne smokes on field, NGO breathes fire

Press Trust Of India
May 24, 2008 at 01:14am IST

Panaji: An anti-tobacco NGO, National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) has demanded a BCCI inquiry on Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne smoking on the ground during an IPL match.

NOTE has written to IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi that smoking in public places was a criminal offence and IPL was no exception to the rule.

It even went to the extent of claiming that Warne's cigarette might have "dope" in it, considering his earlier "credentials".

SMOKE SCREEN: The NGO contends Warne's cigarette might have "dope" in it.

"We 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 is demanded," NOTE general secretary Dr Shekhar Salkar said.

NOTE had earlier objected to Shah Rukh Khan smoking in a cricket stadium by issuing him notice.

The organisation is also fighting a case against Amitabh Bachchan, after billboards showing the Big B smoking were displayed on a national highway.

"We demand that act of Warne should be promptly reported to ICC as well as appropriate authorities in Australia. He should be asked to apologise to Indian viewers and promise that there would be no public display of his disgusting vice," Salkar said.

The NGO also demanded that IPL should ensure that its players and officials present a morally justifiable image in future.

"Let them know that those stubs in their hands would motivate our youngsters in the wrong way producing pathological smokers and cancer patients in a country yearning for idols," Salkar added.

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