MCG Twenty20 crowd warned to behave, extra security put in place

February 1st, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Melbourne, Feb 1 (ANI): Cricket Australia (CA) and Victoria Police have warned fans to be well-behaved at tomorrow night’s Twenty20 final between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The warning over crowd behaviour came as Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland expressed disappointment at an International Cricket Commission bungle allowing Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh to escape a possible suspension, reports The Age.

Harbhajan was fined half his match fee by ICC appeals commissioner Justice John Hansen on Tuesday after his original charge of racial abuse during the test at the Sydney Cricket Ground was downgraded.

That could still have seen Harbhajan incur a one-Test ban due to his list of prior offences but Hansen was not made aware of three past indiscretions until it was too late.

Earlier today International Cricket Council chief Malcolm Speed said the ICC accepted responsibility for the error.

Sutherland said CA would not appeal the decision.

Judge Hansen had said Australian player Andrew Symonds was the aggressor in the SCG affair, and chastised him for telling the hearing that “a Test match is no place to be friendly to an opposition player”.

Today Mr Sutherland said media cover of Andrew Symonds had been “unfortunate” but admitted that Symonds and other Australian players would be asked to reflect on their actions.

Victoria Police Acting Superintendent Bob Hill said he was unaware of rumours that text messages were circulating that urged retribution over the ICC decision,

“It does come as a surprise, I hadn’t been made aware of that, but our planning doesn’t stop until tomorrow afternoon,” he said.

Sutherland also denied any knowledge of inflammatory messages.

With upwards of 85,000 people expected to attend the Twenty20 match, Acting Superintendent Hill said Victoria police would adopt a firm stance on anti-social or unruly behaviour.

Additional police resources, including police at licensed premises in the Richmond area and mounted police in the MCG car park would act as a deterrent, he said. (ANI)

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