An angry Australia skipper Ricky Ponting on Thursday sharply criticised the lifting of three-Test ban on Harbhajan Singh in the racial abuse case, saying it was the last thing he wanted.
Harbhajan was given the ban by match referee Mike Procter on Jaunary 6 on Andrew Symonds' complaint that Harbhajan called him "monkey" but ICC appointed appeals commissioner Justice John Hansen of New Zealand overturned the decision, citing lack of evidence.
"It's just that Andrew feels a little bit disappointed by the whole system really over the last few weeks. But I have been also at the fore front of the whole thing for last one month... This was the last thing either of us want," Ponting said in his first public reaction after the development.
The Australian media and other team members were also reportedly unhappy about Harbhajan being given the reprieve while Hansen also accepted that Harbhajan was "lucky" to escape a heavy punishment because ICC failed to provide him the bowler's correct past record of offences.