Bhajji appeals to BCCI for 'one more chance'
A beleaguered Harbhajan Singh appeals to the BCCI to give him "one final chance" before taking disciplinary action against him. Slapgate: more...Updated: May 07, 2008 21:42 IST
Faced with the possibility of being banned for a few matches by the BCCI, the beleaguered Harbhajan Singh has appealed to the Cricket Board to give him "one final chance" before taking disciplinary action against him.
The 27-year-old off-spinner, who has already been banned by the IPL organisers for rest of the tournament for slapping his India teammate S Sreesanth, has written a fresh letter to the BCCI just two days ahead of the disciplinary hearing to be conducted by the Board-appointed Commissioner Sudhir Nanavati in Ahmedabad.
In his letter, Harbhajan said he had apologised to Sreesanth after the incident in Mohali and was willing to do it again in public, NDTV reported on Wednesday.
"Along with accepting my most sincere and heartfelt apologies over this incident, I would like to appeal to the Board's sense of fairplay and ask for one final chance before taking any disciplinary action against me over this incident," he said in the letter.
Although the IPL governing council has already penalised him, the BCCI will also punish him separately for the level 4 offence as per the ICC Players' Code of Conduct. A level 4 offence leads to a maximum punishment of a life ban or a minimum ban of five Tests or 10 one-day internationals.
When contacted, BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah said Harbhajan has been writing a number of letters and it was not proper for him to divulge the contents.
"The inquiry is going on. We are waiting for the report," Shah said.
Despite the IPL organisers punishing his for the offence, the BCCI will also take disciplinary action against the controversial spinner who has a history of breaching code of conducts.
A top BCCI source said that the Board would take disciplinary action against Harbhajan as such incident should not have happened on the cricket field.
With the BCCI determined to crack the whip there was widespread speculation that Harbhajan could be handed out a 10-match ODI ban and also fined for the offence.
Nanavati said the footage of the incident did not indicate that there was any provocation for Harbhajan to behave in such a manner.
"I will have to talk to some more people like (Kings XI Punjab captain) Yuvraj Singh, (Mumbai Indians coach) Lal Chand Rajput or Mohali the team manager to find out if there was any provocation," he said.
If Nanavati finds that there was no provocation, he could recommend a more severe punishment for the troubled spinner which means that the quantum of the ban could be higher.
Nanavati had yesterday said that he was shocked after seeing the video footage of the incident and will submit his inquiry report on the matter to Board President Sharad Pawar on Monday.
"What I saw was shocking but it has made my job easier. It will also help me in my further investigation. I have also summoned them (Harbhajan and Sreesanth). They have been told to come either on Friday or Saturday. Harbhajan will be coming on Friday. Sreesanth is yet to confirm a date," the Ahmedabad lawyer said.