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Harbhajan asks BCCI for one more chance
May 07, 2008 16:12 IST
Faced with the possibility of being banned for a few matches by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, beleaguered Harbhajan Singh [Images] has appealed to the 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 Indian Premier League for the rest of its ongoing Twenty20 tournament after slapping India teammate S Sreesanth [Images], has written a fresh letter to the BCCI just two days ahead of the disciplinary hearing, to be conducted by Board-appointed Commissioner Sudhir Nanavati in Ahmedabad.
In his letter, Harbhajan says he had apologised to Sreesanth after the incident in Mohali and is willing to do it again in public, said NDTV 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 is believed to have 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 [Images] 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 is 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 him for the offence, the BCCI will also take disciplinary action against the controversial spinner who has a history of breaching the code of conduct.
A top BCCI source said that the Board will take disciplinary action against Harbhajan, as such an incident should not have happened on the cricket field.
With the BCCI determined to crack the whip there is 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 [Images], (Mumbai Indians coach) Lalchand 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.
"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.