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ICC draws flak from Aussie media for gaffe

The International Cricket Council (ICC) draws flack from the Australian media for failing to provide Harbhajan Singh's earlier CoC breaches.

cricket Updated: Jan 31, 2008 14:31 IST
PTI
ICC

The International Cricket Council has drawn flak from the Australian media for failing to provide Harbhajan Singh's earlier Code of Conduct breaches, which rendered the whole process of justice as a "farce".

The leading Australian daily 'Sydney Morning Herald' wrote that Harbhajan escaped harsh punishment due to ICC's blunder and said the appeals hearing by Justice John Hansen was a farce.

"The race row descended into farce when the judge who cleared Harbhajan Singh of racism conceded the off spinner should have received a heavier penalty -- and would have but for a monumental cock-up by the International Cricket Council," the paper said.

"The Australian players remain angry that Harbhajan escaped suspension for the taunt, for they expected the lesser offence to attract a ban, as he would have but for the ICC's blunder."

'The Age' played up the issue under headline 'Judge reveals race row bungle' and called it an embarrassment for the ICC.

"Justice Hansen was told of only one previous finding against Harbhajan. He learnt only after sentencing that he had been penalised for three other offences, including a fine and a suspended ban in South Africa in 2001 for abusing an umpire.

"In an embarrassment for the ICC, the incident was not put before him because it was logged under another player's name on the database," it said.

A sarcastic presentation with headline 'Obscene attempt to twist the truth' appeared in 'The Australian'.

"Justice Hansen bungled the sentencing of Harbhajan Singh after being accidentally misled in the hearing and admitted last night he would have imposed a larger penalty if he could have."

"Harbhajan could have faced a one Test or two one-day international ban but instead was slapped on the wrist with a USD 3000 penalty."

"Harbhajan's admission that he was referring to the genitals of another player's mother and not his racial background caused some amusement during the hearing in Adelaide, but it got him off," said the paper.