Harbhajan Singh's coach Davinder Arora on Wednesday said that the BCCI's decision to ban the temperamental off-spinner for five ODIs is not justified as it amounts to punishing the bowler twice for the same offence.
"Harbhajan has already suffered heavily as he was banned for 11 matches in the IPL, which is also a Board backed event. I feel the Board should have let him off with a warning and not penalised him once again," the Jalandhar-based coach told PTI over phone.
The BCCI on Wednesday banned the spinner for five ODIs for slapping his India teammate S Sreesanth and warned him of a life ban for any further misconduct on his part.
Arora, who has coached the cricketer since his early days, felt that Board should have taken a lenient view after the Indian Premier League banned him from the entire tournament besides fining him close to three crore.
Meanwhile, Harbhajan's mother Avtar Kaur tried to evade a direct response on the matter but said, "whatever the Board has done must be right."
"I am learning about this (the ban) through you and have nothing more to say," Kaur said as she hurried her way into her Jalandhar residence.
Chairman of the Punjab Cricket Association's coaching committee, D P Azad also felt that the Board should have taken a "lenient view".
"Harbhajan is very good at heart and comes from a humble background. The slapping incident was an unfortunate incident, but Bhajji has repented it and promised such a thing will not happen in future.
Therefore, the Board should have let him off with a warning," Azad, who was director of 'Pace Bowlers Academy', in which the spinner trained for three years in the mid 1990s, said.