Harbhajan Singh slams ICC’s decision in Steve Smith ball tampering row

Updated on Mar 25, 2018 11:13 PM IST

Harbhajan Singh slammed the ICC for letting off Australian opener Cameron Bancroft with only a fine of 75 per cent of his match fee and not a ban.

Harbhajan Singh referred to the 2008 Sydney Test against Australia, infamously described as Monkey gate, where he was banned for three Tests for an alleged racial slur against Andrew Symonds and asked why Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith got off so lightly for ball tampering.(Getty Images)
Harbhajan Singh referred to the 2008 Sydney Test against Australia, infamously described as Monkey gate, where he was banned for three Tests for an alleged racial slur against Andrew Symonds and asked why Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith got off so lightly for ball tampering.(Getty Images)
Press Trust of India, New Delhi | ByPress Trust of India

India spinner Harbhajan Singh today slammed the ICC for letting off Australian opener Cameron Bancroft with only a fine of 75 per cent of his match fee and not a ban, despite his role in the ball tampering scandal in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Harbhajan recalled the 2001 South Africa Test where five Indians -- Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Shiv Sunder Das and Deep Dasgupta, apart from him, were banned for at least a Test by match referee Mike Denness for various offences.

He also referred to the 2008 Sydney Test against Australia, infamously described as Monkey gate, where he was banned for three Tests for an alleged racial slur against Andrew Symonds.

“wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidences whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules,” (sic) he tweeted.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan too was critical of ICC’s decision.

“1 Match Ban & 100 % March fee Fine for Smith ... 75% match fee fine for Bancroft and some bloody De merit points for Bancroft ... Pathetic penalties for CHEATING ... Surely this moment was the time to set a precedent ... !!?? All the team should be penalised,” he wrote in his handle.

Australia captain Smith was today handed a one-match suspension and fined 100 percent of his match fee after he owned up to a ball-tampering conspiracy in South Africa.

However, opener Bancroft was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third day’s play.

The incident that led to the charges being laid took place during South Africa’s innings yesterday afternoon when Bancroft was seen on television holding a foreign object while rubbing the ball, before hiding the yellow object in his pocket, then inside his trousers.

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