Bhajji needs to be reined in, Cricket Australia warns BCCI

March 9th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by admin  

Harbhajan Singh
Melbourne, Mar.9 (ANI): Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has written to Niranjan Shah, the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), demanding that the latter discipline off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for his latest outburst against Australian players Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist.
Expressing exasperation over the controversial spinner’s comments, Sutherland said: “Enough is enough. Despite assurances that you have instructed him not to fuel this issue any more, Harbhajan continues to say whatever he wants. When will it ever end? Could you please deal with your player in regard to these comments.”
Cricket Australia previously had refrained from publicly expressing its frustrations about Harbhajan but had held private discussions with the Indian board, and received assurances that its problem child would be counselled about the difference between provocative remarks and personal abuse.
India twice threatened to take their bat and ball and go home if Harbhajan was not cleared of racially abusing Andrew Symonds, a decision that would have cost Cricket Australia millions of dollars. With the tour finished, and the spinner delivering his latest insults after India’s triumphant homecoming, Sutherland took a more direct approach.
“We’ve tried over the summer to get the balance right in the way controversial comment has been managed and we certainly, through our actions with Matthew Hayden, been firm with our own players in terms of where the tipping point is,” a CA spokesman said.
“We believe it is possible to make intelligent, thoughtful and even provocative public comment without descending to personal abuse.”
Upon stepping off the plane in India, Harbhajan told the Delhi-based tabloid Mail Today he was upset that Hayden and the now-retired Gilchrist supported Symonds in the race row.
“Don’t talk about Hayden’s credibility, he is a big liar,” the spinner said. “He [Gilchrist] is also not a saint. He, of course, pretends to be a saint - someone who doesn’t say an offensive word on the field. But this is completely wrong. There are times when he doesn’t let an opportunity go to waste. The whole world knows how the Australians target individual players to break their confidence,” the Sydney Morning Herald further quoted Harbhajan, as saying.
The Australian players dislike Harbhajan intensely, and believe he has escaped meaningful punishment for a succession of transgressions, including his alleged “monkey” taunt, with the protection of his financially powerful board. (ANI)

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