Allan Border, Hussey back Bhajji in first Final monkey row

March 3rd, 2008 - 2:29 pm ICT by admin  

Harbhajan Singh

Sydney, Mar 3 (ANI): On the day when the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh clean chit over allegations that he called Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds a monkey during the Sydney Test, former Aussie captain Allan Border praised the bowlers behaviour during the Sunday Final.
In what appeared a fresh controversy involving the Indian bowler, a section of the Aussie press reported that he made monkey gestures towards the SCG crowd. The reports even quoted a spectator as saying that Harbhajan had gestured to scratch his armpits and also spat towards the crowd after being abused by spectators.
Border said he didn’t notice any gestures, and that the Indian spinner had “handled himself pretty well” during the first of the three Finals which India won convincingly by six wickets.
“I was over that side of the ground and Harbhajan was copping a fair bit of stick from the crowd. I didn’t notice any gestures at all and I thought he handled himself pretty well. I’m not so sure how serious it is,” an AAP report quoted Border as saying.
He added that it was a shame that a great century by Sachin Tendulkar in his farewell tour of Australia was being overshadowed by “a few bits of silliness in the outfield”.
Bhajji was earlier banned for three Tests after Australian players produced evidence that he called Symonds a monkey during the second Test. The ICC, however, today absolved Bhajji of all the charges against him for want of evidence.
Meanwhile, Mike Hussey said he and his teammates knew nothing about yesterdays alleged incidents involving Harbhajan. “I haven’t heard a single thing about it,” the Fox Sports quoted him as saying.
According to him, too much was being made of things away from the game itself. “I think the Australian and Indian public have had enough of all the controversy. We just want to concentrate on the cricket,” he added.
Indian team manager Bimal Soni condemned the news reports on Harbhajan, and said he had done nothing wrong. “I think it is wrong. Nothing has been done like that. They are making a mountain out of a molehill. He did nothing. These stories I do not believe them and I strongly condemn them,” Soni said.
Soni further said the controversy wasn’t distracting the side before tomorrow’s game two of the best of three finals series at the Gabba. “We do not talk about it, we only talk about the cricket on the field and we do not want to talk anything about these things,” he added. (ANI)

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