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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Harbhajan slapped 'abusive' Sreesanth

An inconsolable Sreesanth after the Mohali vs Mumbai game on Friday night. Was he slapped by Harbhajan?

Scyld Berry's prophecy has come true.

A fortnight ago, the Wisden editor had warned how high-profile, televised cricket events could soon witness on-field violence.

Now comes the news that Harbhajan Singh allegedly slapped Sreesanth during their IPL match on Friday night.

Several Mumbai players have spoken off the record against Sreesanth. They said the Kerala pacer was abusive throughout the game and it irritated them, as well as their captain Harbhajan.

PTI reports:
Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh and Kings XI paceman S Sreesanth were on Friday involved in a bitter row, following which the fast bowler was seen crying bitterly on the ground at the end of their IPL match.

Harbhajan allegedly slapped Sreesanth after the paceman said something to Harbhajan which offended the off-spinner.

The off-spinner however had a long chat with Sreesanth in the dressing room of the Punjab team and even believed to have apologised for his behaviour.
Sreesanth has confirmed the incident to Cricinfo.

HT reports that there are two versions to the incident.
An eyewitness confirmed to HT that Bhajji did slap Sreesanth. But there’s more than one version. One version said a friendly tap on Sreesanth’s cheeks triggered an altercation. Another said Sreesanth repeatedly abused Bhajji provoking him.
Harbhajan later turned up at a press conference and asked the questions be strictly on cricket.

Meanwhile, Kings XI captain Yuvraj Singh has trained his guns at his Punjab statemate Harbhajan, calling the incident "ugly and totally unacceptable."

It brings to mind Berry's words from the edit pages of Wisden's 2008 edition:
I fear the day is approaching when a high-profile, televised cricket match will see an outbreak of physical violence on the field - and nothing could be more injurious to all concerned.
Shall we say, welcome to the future?

It's not the least bit ironic that the two characters involved have had a history of flare-ups with international players. Now, they've taken it a level higher, messing up their own house.

Update on Saturday: The BCCI have issued a press release saying that Harbhajan has been suspended. The statement in full:
Based on prima facie video evidence as seen and reviewed by the match adjudicator and referee Mr. Farokh Engineer from the tapes provided by Sony & TWI. A decision has been reached to suspend with immediate effect Mr. Harbhajan Singh of the Mumbai Indians pending the inquiry into the incident on Monday, April 28th 2008.

The inquiry into the incident at Mohali in the game between King’s XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians will now take place at the Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi on April 28th 2008. A final verdict would be announced by the adjudicator Mr. Farokh Engineer post the hearing at New Delhi.


obaid said...

Hmm, wonder how Hayden and Symmonds must be feeling now.

Venkat said...

Just one word...Vindicated !

Ankit said...

it has more to do with harbhajan's state of mind...

although what he did is not justified at all, but there can be reasoning..

chek my blog for more..