No way Harbhajan can make racist comments: Pawar

January 11th, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

By Soma Mitra

Kolkata, Jan 11 (ANI): BCCI president Sharad Pawar has categorically said that there was no way Harbhajan Singh could have made racist remarks against the Australian player, and added that the board will extend its full support to the off spinner.

He said India had a history of fighting racism and it was unbelievable that any Indian player representing the country in any sport in any part of the globe would make racist comments.

Pawar said the BCCI would put up the best legal team, helped by Arun Jaitely, Sashank Manohar and Srinivasan to represent Harbhajan during his appeal against the ban before the ICC.

He said he was happy that ICC conducted a review of the umpiring performance in the ongoing series in Australia and decided to replace one of the umpires.

Pawar said no Board was entitled to demand a change in the umpires, but the BCCI had expressed dissatisfaction with the umpiring in the ongoing India-Australia series and asked for a review.

Pawar said it was necessary that umpiring mistakes in matches be avoided, and added that a formula for this needed to be worked out within the framework of the ICC.

Pawar was speaking to media persons in Kolkata. He was here to attend an interactive session at the Indian Chamber of Commerce in his capacity as Minister for Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Harbhajan was reportedly found of racially abusing Australian all-rounder
Andrew Symonds, but denied the charges.

The BCCI then threatened to abort the tour unless the ICC dropped the charges.

Harbhajan was allowed to play until the appeal was heard and West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor was replaced following criticism of his umpiring decisions.

There were fears that the tour would be cancelled altogether until the
Indian officials agreed to proceed after the ICC bowed to pressure and made a number of significant concessions. (ANI)

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