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Mumbai regret Bhajji behaviour, hope for solution

cricket Updated: Apr 27, 2008 14:57 IST

PTI
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The Mumbai team on Sunday regretted the controversy surrounding their suspended stand-in captain Harbhajan Singh and said they are optimistic that the row would be resolved amicably after Monday's hearing in the case.

Reacting to Harbhajan's temporary suspension after he had allegedly slapped Mohali player S Sreesanth, an unnamed official of Mumbai, while terming the incident at Mohali two nights ago as unfortunate, said they were confident that the issue would be sorted out soon.

"The incident involving Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth of Mohali was most unfortunate. The Governing Council has set up an adjudication panel to inquire into the incident. Mumbai are confident that the decision taken by the panel will be in the best interests of cricket and the DLF Indian Premier League," he said in a statement. "The Mumbai Indians are hopeful that the Harbhajan Singh issue will be resolved amicably," he added.

The IPL swung into action late on Saturday and suspended Harbhajan, who allegedly slapped Sreesanth after Mumbai had crashed to their third successive defeat in the Twenty20 league at Mohali.

The Cricket Board, under whose overall jurisdiction the IPL functions as a sub-committee, had already slapped a show-cause notice on the off-spinner asking him to explain his conduct at Mohali.

IPL commissioner and chairman Lalit Modi later suspended the bowler and also decided that a panel, headed by match referee Farokh Engineer, would meet both parties at a formal hearing in Delhi before deciding on future course of action.

If found guilty, Harbhajan faces a suspension of five Tests or 10 ODIs, as per the Code of Conduct of the International Cricket Council that is being followed by the IPL Governing Council, or even a life ban.

Harbhajan led Mumbai in the first three ties in the absence of regular captain Sachin Tendulkar who is struggling to get fit following a groin injury sustained in Australia which got aggravated during the first home Test against South Africa at the end of last month.