Monkeygate forced me to quit as ICC match referee: Procter

January 1st, 2009 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghSydeny, Jan 1 (IANS) Mike Procter, who had banned Harbhajan Singh for allegedly hurling racial abuse at Andrew Symonds, said he had no grudge over the incident though he quit the job of match referee after the controversy.Procter returns to Sydney Cricket Ground, a year after he found himself in the midst of a raging controversy that had almost wrecked India’s tour of Australia midway following the monkeygate scandal.

“I am happy it is all over,” Procter was quoted as saying in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I think Harbhajan probably regrets what went on. We have all done things on the field that, upon viewing them at a later date, we are not proud of. It was certainly a difficult period for everyone, but I have moved on and I certainly hold no grudges over the incident.

“Match refereeing is a tough job in many ways, and certainly (that Sydney Test) was one of the reasons why I left the job.”

Procter is now convenor of selectors of the South African team.

Procter presides over a team with aspirations of becoming Test cricket’s next great dynasty, aspirations that will heighten should they complete a historic whitewash of Australia at the SCG from Saturday.

“They are a young team in many ways, and it is exciting to see what they have already achieved,” Procter said.

“The challenge now is to maintain their high standards, but with a leader of the quality of Graeme Smith, I can’t see them allowing themselves to slip.”

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