ICL: Indian Cricket League

BCCI bans Harbhajan for five ODIs


harbhajanHarbhajan Singh has been banned by the Indian board for five ODIs for slapping Sreesanth during an IPL match last month. The ban means Harbhajan will miss India’s forthcoming tri-series in Bangladesh and the start of the Asia Cup in Pakistan, in addition to 11 matches in the IPL as earlier decided by the league.

The BCCI’s disciplinary committee, which decided this, also said a subsequent breach of discipline would “invoke a life ban.”

Sreesanth was sent a letter by the BCCI instructing him to mend his ways on the field. “[If] you do not improve your behavior, the board would be constrained to take appropriate decision,” the letter, written by board secretary Niranjan Shah, stated.

The committee, comprising president Sharad Pawar, president-elect Shashank Manohar and vice-president Chirayu Amin, handed out the punishment after meeting Harbhajan in Mumbai. The speed of the decision-making came as a surprise since the committee was not due to meet on Wednesday; instead, a date was to be fixed for its meeting.

The committee invoked Rule 3.2.1 of the BCCI regulations and handed out the maximum punishment under it. “Under this provision, the maximum punishment that can be meted out to a player is ‘a ban up to a maximum of 5 ODIs and / or 3 Test matches’,” a release from the board said.

“The committee accordingly decided to ban Harbhajan Singh for five one-day internationals, starting today (14th May 2008), and further observed that any further instance of misconduct will invoke a life-ban.”

Shah explained the reason for terming it a level 3 offence instead of level 4, as the IPL had deemed. “We charged him under the BCCI’s Code of Conduct.

“The IPL had adopted the ICC’S Spirit of Cricket policy and so the match referee had applied the ICC’ Code of Conduct to give a 11-match ban. Our enquiry was separate and we decided to punish him under the BCCI regulations.”

Sudhir Nanavati, the board’s investigating commissioner who submitted a 14-page report on the incident, was also present at the meeting. Nanavati concluded his investigation into the row on May 12 and submitted his findings to the board.

Asked if the enquiry commissioner’s recommendation that leniency be shown towards Harbhajan, Shah said the commissioner’s job was “to present the real facts”.

Source:Cricket News

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