BCCI asks Indian players to behave after Bhajji row
The board has given Team India instructions to not get into any altercation and put the controversy behind them.cricket Updated: Jan 31, 2008 13:29 IST
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has told its players in Australia to behave themselves after the row involving spinner Harbhajan Singh overshadowed an exciting Test series, its secretary Niranjan Shah said on Thursday.
"We have already asked the players, given them instructions not to get into such type of altercations," Shah told Reuters, adding that he expected India to put the controversy behind them for the rest of the tour.
On Tuesday, International Cricket Council (ICC) appeals commissioner John Hansen downgraded the charges against Harbhajan from racial abuse against Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds to using abusive language due to lack of evidence.
The off-spinner consequently escaped a three-match suspension and was fined half his match fee for the second Test in Sydney, where the incident took place.
The Indian board threatened to abandon the tour if the racial abuse charges stuck and the ICC was left red-faced when Hansen revealed Harbhajan got away lightly because officials informed him of only one of the player's four prior offences.
Shah rejected heavy criticism, especially by the Australian media, that the BCCI flexed its financial muscle and held the game to ransom.
"It was a fair judgement," Shah said. "We don't have to go by what the Australian media says. We've gone by the procedure put in place by the ICC and we accept the judgement."
He denied reports that the BCCI had chartered a flight to fly its players back if Harbhajan was not absolved of racism charges.
"I totally deny reports we were chartering a flight to take the players. These are all media pressure tactics and hype."
Shah was confident the controversy would not affect future India-Australia cricketing ties.
"I don't think this will have any repercussions for the future," he said.
"So many such incidents have happened in the past, there have been heated exchanges in the middle and teams have gone on from there."
Australia won the four-match series 2-1 and will play India in a Twenty20 international in Melbourne on Friday ahead of a Tri-Series one-day tournament that includes Sri Lanka.