International Cricket Council chief Malcolm Speed said on Thursday the organisation accepted the blame for the administrative blunder that enabled India spinner Harbhajan Singh to escape a stiffer penalty in his racial abuse case.
Harbhajan’s three-Test suspension for allegedly racially abusing Australian Andrew Symonds during the contentious second Test in Sydney was overturned at a code of conduct appeals hearing in Adelaide on Tuesday.
However, Hansen then revealed he would have handed out a stiffer penalty, including a possible suspension, had he been aware of Harbhajan’s full record.
Speed issued a written statement on Thursday that acknowledged the ICC had been at fault.
“It is very unfortunate that human error led to Justice Hansen not having the full history of Harbhajan’s previous Code of Conduct breaches and the ICC accepts responsibility for this mistake,” Speed said.
Hansen said the suspended sentence did not show up in the ICC records because the incident was logged under another player’s name, while the other two priors were omitted because of a database issue and human error.