Indian Premier League (IPL) governing board member IS Bindra has cautioned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to watch his on-field behaviour after the slapping row with S Sreesanth as another spat with fellow players could spell the end of his career.
"There is no question for any repetition, we cannot have tolerance of any repeat actions of this nature," Bindra told The Herald.
"Once punished for such an offence, a player cannot make the same indiscretion again," he added.
Harbhajan was banned from this edition of the IPL for slapping India teammate S Sreesanth and Bindra said he has been left deeply disappointed by the off-spinner considering that he had been urged to control his temper after the racism row in Australia.
"He has disappointed all of us. I personally warned him after Australia, I told him he needed to be all the more careful because 'you are under watch, you are under probation'," he recalled.
"He has had problems on a couple of occasions in the past. He was warned by the association that if he doesn't listen to the advice then next is a hard knock on his knuckles," he added.
The slapgate, as it has come to be described, has cost the tweaker almost Rs three crore in match fee and his woes do not end at that as he is still awaiting the BCCI disciplinary committee verdict on the matter.
Bindra said the BCCI and IPL's tough stance on the matter showed that Indian cricket was not willing to take a lenient view of the misconduct by its players.
"People have accused the board of being soft, but this shows we're not trying to sweep things under the carpet," he said.
The former BCCI chief said it was unfair to compare the racism row in Australia with the slapping incident in IPL as Harbhajan's conduct was markedly different in both cases.
"As for the case in Australia, the overwhelming view from the Indian team was that he was not guilty of what he was accused, and therefore we supported him," he explained.
"On this occasion there was no question he was guilty, and we have punished him. We cannot mix the two incidents, we will punish players if they are guilty," he added.