Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchannon on Monday said Harbhajan Singh's absence could prove to be a big loss for the Mumbai Indians as also to the IPL but hoped the authorities would not be swayed by the star value of the player.
"Harbhajan's absence is always a big loss. But the IPL committee has set high standards on discipline. I hope in this case as well it will not go by the big name associated with the incident," Buchanan told newspersons here.
Harbhajan, who was captain for the Mumbai Indians in three matches due to the injury to regular captain Sachin Tendulkar, was on Mondya banned for the rest of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament ban for slapping paceman S Sreesanth after the latter's side Kings XI Punjab beat the Mumbai franchise on April 25.
Buchanan said the loss of Brendon McCullum, who would go back to New Zealand after tomorrow's game, would be made up by the Knight Riders' fresh catch - Brad Hodge of Australia - and the arrival of Pakistan's Salman Butt.On the injured Chris Gayle, Buchanan said team physio Andrew leipus was attending to him.
"But though he is recovering fast, we are still unsure of his availability in the final 11.