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BCCI bans Harbhajan for five one-dayers

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PULLED UP: Harbhajan Singh snapped after appearing before the BCCI’s disciplinary committee in Mumbai on Wednesday.
PULLED UP: Harbhajan Singh snapped after appearing before the BCCI’s disciplinary committee in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday brought to an end the disciplinary process relating to the Harbhajan Singh–S. Sreesanth slapping incident by banning the off-spinner for five One Day Internationals. The BCCI has also told Sreesanth to mend his ways on the field.

Harbhajan had admitted to hitting Sreesanth after the DLF-IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians at Mohali on April 25 and was thereafter banned from the remaining IPL matches by match referee Farokh Engineer.

The BCCI’s decision has ruled out Harbhajan’s selection for the tri-series (June 8 to 14) in Bangladesh. India is scheduled to play a match each against Pakistan and Bangladesh there and should India qualify for the final, Harbhajan would complete more than half of the punishment.

Rule partly invoked

The Committee invoked Rule 3.2.1 of the BCCI’s regulations which states the maximum punishment that can be meted out to a player is a ban up to a maximum of five ODIs and/or three Test matches.

Harbhajan should be eligible for selection at the mid-way stage of the Asia Cup matches to be held in Pakistan from June 24 to July 6.

Harbhajan, who was given a copy of the board-appointed commissioner Sudhir Nanavati’s report, regretted and apologised to the Disciplinary Committee.

Leniency plea

“The player (Harbhajan) admitted his guilt in the concerned matter. He prayed for leniency and assured the committee that there would not be any misconduct on his part in the future.

“The committee decided to ban Harbhajan Singh for five one-day internationals (starting today i.e. May 14) and further observed that any further instance of misconduct will invoke a life-ban,” said Sharad Pawar, President, BCCI and Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.

Niranjan Shah, Secretary, BCCI, in a note to Sreesanth said: “The Board is constrained to warn you for your behaviour on the field and in the event of you not improving, the Board would take appropriate action.”.

The Disciplinary Committee comprising Mr. Pawar, Mr. Shashank Manohar, BCCI President-elect, and Chirayu Amin, Vice-President, BCCI, discussed and accepted the report of Mr. Nanavati.

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