The ban imposed on Harbhajan Singh from playing in the rest of the IPL cricket matches for slapping S. Sreesanth in Mohali after the T20 match between the Mumbai Indians and the Kings XI Punjab is a signal to all players that arrogance does not pay in the long run. During the recent Test series with Australia, Harbhajan crossed the Lakshman Rekha and was charged with abusing Andrew Symonds racially.
Thanks to the BCCI’s support, he was let off. Harbhajan failed to correct himself and has now been forced to swallow the bitter pill. No sympathy should be shown to those who display arrogance.
Players who cannot control their emotions and take to violent acts do not deserve a place in the Indian team. Harbhajan escaped disciplinary action in Australia because of the BCCI’s arm-twisting tactics. The Mohali incident speaks volumes about his insolent behaviour. The ban from playing the IPL matches is no punishment for the young man whose behaviour is most unacceptable.
The controversy once again has me wondering whether cricket is still a gentleman’s game. A player assaulting another on the field is inexcusable. The ban on Harbhajan to play in the rest of the IPL matches is hardly an adequate punishment. Rio Ferdinand was banned for eight months by the English FA for missing a drugs test.
In cricket, we have the example of Shane Warne who was banned for one year for testing positive for a forbidden diuretic. One hopes the BCCI will ban Harbhajan for at least one year.
The ugly incident shows the pressure IPL players are subjected to. All those who supported Harbhajan during his spat with Australian cricketers have been left wondering.
Sannapareddy Krishna Reddy,
The support Harbhajan got from the people and sections of the media in the Symonds issue emboldened him to continue behaving aggressively.
Had the BCCI then reprimanded him or banned him from playing in a few international matches, he would perhaps not have behaved in the way he did at Mohali.
For the manner in which Harbhajan behaves on the field, he should be sacked from the Indian team. It was atrocious of him to hit a fellow player. The unrepentant youngster deserves severe punishment.
Even if a player par excellence misbehaves and brings shame to the country, he should be dismissed from the team.
Harbhajan’s behaviour on and off the field has landed us in many controversies in the past. By slapping Sreesanth, he has made clear who was wrong in the episode involving him and Andrew Symonds and other Aussie players during India’s recent tour to Australia. Absolving Sreesanth of any guilt would also be a mistake.
The BCCI must put its foot down and take action that will serve as a stern warning to the players and others like them.
Barun Kumar Mahapatro,
The gentleman’s game of cricket has touched its nadir. It has lost its value and charm because of the BCCI’s lenience and mismanagement of problems involving cricketers. The auction of cricket players for IPL is clear proof that the game has moved from bad to worse. Political and cinematic influence will not augur well for cricket.
As for Harbhajan’s behaviour in Mohali, the BCCI is squarely responsible for it. Had it acted against him during the Symonds episode, he would have been more cautious. Let the BCCI do the needful at least now to correct the behaviour of players on the field.
It is heartening to see that even Indian fans are acknowledging that Harbhajan’s behaviour on the field is disgraceful. The Indian power moguls can no longer pretend that the rest of the world is wrong, and they are right.
Harbhajan has embarrassed all those who defended him during the Australian tour.
V. Siva Anantha Krishnan,
Though Sreesanth’s antics are also despicable, Harbhajan’s act of slapping an opponent has exceeded all limits of impropriety. High stakes and advertisement money throw young players off balance and they do anything to remain in the limelight. Harbhajan deserves no sympathy and should be banned from playing cricket forever.
Our young cricketers don’t seem to know the difference between aggressive and arrogant cricket. Can’t they learn from their seniors such as Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar and Dhoni?
While there is no doubt that Sreesanth and Harbhajan should be punished for the Mohali incident, it is not proper to bring the Symonds issue to the fore again. When it comes to sledging, Australians are no saints. The fact that Sachin Tendulkar stood up for Harbhajan in the Symonds issue is proof enough that he did not say anything racist against Symonds.