‘India was warned to discipline Harbhajan’

March 9th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Melbourne, March 9 (IANS) India was warned by match referees Mike Procter and Jeff Crowe to watch spinner Harbhajan Singh’s provocative behaviour with Australian crowds for fear he could incite open conflict, according to the media here. The revelation comes as the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed it was investigating Harbhajan’s outburst last week, in which he claimed Matthew Hayden was “a liar” and Adam Gilchrist “no saint”.

“We are aware of Harbhajan Singh’s comments and are in dialogue with the two boards (Australia and India),” an ICC spokesman was quoted as saying in The Australian.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) attempted to dismiss Harbhajan’s comments about Hayden as frustration from a long and difficult tour.

Even before Harbhajan was investigated by Crowe following reports that the spinner made monkey gestures and spat at spectators during last week’s first final in Sydney, crowd controllers around the country complained about the off-spinner’s behaviour.

This was confirmed by CA Sunday as it awaited a satisfactory response from the BCCI over the last flare-up. “We’ve been told by ICC match referees that they briefed the Indian team management to counsel Harbhajan around appropriate on-field behaviour,” CA spokesman Peter Young said.

“No-one has a problem with interaction with crowds but inappropriate behaviour can provoke them into going too far.”

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