Indians express outrage at Harbhajan’s ban, dubious umpiring

January 7th, 2008 - 5:40 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi/Jalandhar/Patna, Jan 7 (ANI): Cricket fans across the country have expressed their outrage against the ban on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh for three Test matches.
Protesters in Patna staged a donkey-march venting their ire at Steve Bucknor for a series of umpiring blunders at the second test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“The way it turned out, the decisions that were given and the manner in which Ricky Ponting (Australian skipper) managed to get a decision in his favour is disgusting. Also, the decision against Harbhajan Singh is completely unwarranted and without any proof,” said Ishwar Chandra Srivastava, a protestor.
Former India players were united in criticising umpires — Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson — whose mistakes, they said, helped Australia win.
India’s greatest all-rounder Kapil Dev accused the hosts of failing to show a sporting spirit.
Meanwhile, in Jalandhar, Harbhajan Singhs mother Avtar Kaur said that she had faith in the Almighty that the things will improve.
Whatever is happening is not good. He (Harbhajan) has been falsely implicated,” she added.
In New Delhi, cricket fans said that it was a totally unfair decision and the issue needed to be addressed at the earliest.
Many felt that such dubious decisions have brought disrepute to the game.
“This is a black spot on the game of cricket,” said Ram, a fan.
Earlier today, the Indian cricket board suspended its team’s tour of Australia pending the outcome of an appeal for spinner Harbhajan Singh.
On Sunday, the ICC banned Harbhajan for three Test matches for alleged racial remarks during the second Test between India and Australia.
The five-day match at the Sydney Cricket Ground was dogged by a series of umpiring blunders that re-ignited the debate about whether the match officials should be allowed to make greater use of technology to ensure they make the right decisions.
Both teams were adversely affected by wrong calls, but the most significant occurred on the first day when Andrew Symonds was given not out by West Indian umpire Bucknor when the player edged a catch behind.
India lost the match by 122 runs after their celebrated batting line-up collapsed on the last day at the Sydney Cricket Ground but the tourists said the umpires were to blame for the result. (ANI)

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