IPL

Oz cricketer due in court

2012-05-19 09:31
Luke Pomersbach (Gallo)

New Delhi - Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach was due to appear in a New Delhi courtroom on Saturday on accusations he molested a woman and beat up her fiance, his lawyer said.

The 27-year-old batsman, who has one cap for Australia, is signed up in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team, which took on the Delhi Daredevils on Thursday night.

He faces up to three years in jail if found guilty of molestation, assault and house-breaking after the incident during an after-game party at the swanky ITC Maurya Hotel in the Indian capital.

His arrest was headline news in Indian and Australian newspapers on Saturday with reports detailing the sensational allegations in the case and the chequered history of the money-spinning IPL.

"Molestation charge rocks IPL," said a banner headline in the widely read Hindustan Times.

The powerfully built cricketer, wearing a heavy bandage on his right arm, fainted during his court appearance on Friday, when he was granted 24-hour bail. Saturday's hearing was also for bail.

"Mr Pomersbach has denied all the charges against him. We cannot comment further as the matter is before the court," his lawyer Ajay Bhargava said.

Pomersbach has battled depression and drug problems and narrowly avoided a jail sentence in Australia after admitting assaulting a police officer who was trying to arrest him for drink driving.

He arrived in India for the IPL saying he was now "on top of things", adding he was determined to make the most of the Indian league in order to get his career back on track.

The alleged woman victim, a 27-year-old from the US, told Indian media Pomersbach had "tagged along" with her and her Mumbai-based fiance and said the cricketer grabbed her while they drank together in a hotel room.

When her fiance asked Pomersbach to leave her alone, Pomersbach "turned around and started hitting him", she alleged.

The man was in a stable condition in hospital.

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