Tuesday, March 11, 2008

ICC needn't get involved in Harbhajan issue: BCCI

BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah has questioned the need for the ICC to get involved in the controversy over Indian offspinner Harbhajan Singh's alleged remarks about Australian players Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist.

The Australian media have reported that the ICC is investigating Harbhajan's comments.

"I'm surprised that with the correspondence between two boards, how the ICC has interfered in this?"
Shah told the Australian.
"How is the ICC involved without knowing anything? There is nothing to investigate and we maintain that we totally support ICC on zero tolerance of abusive language or any sledging on the ground."

Shah also told the paper that he considered the issue of Harbhajan's alleged outburst closed. Cricket Australia had written a letter to the BCCI expressing its discontent after it was reported that Harbhajan had called the Australian team "arrogant", labelled Hayden a "big liar" and said that Gilchrist was "no saint".

"The whole thing has been settled and I don't want to get into it any more,"
Shah said.
"Harbhajan Singh has totally denied what he has (been alleged to have) said."
This comes a day after the Indian board gagged Harbhajan from talking to the media in a bid to avoid any more controversies after an ill-tempered series between India and Australia.

Shah also denied that the BCCI had asked CA to take action against Hayden after he called Harbhajan an "obnoxious weed". CA had reprimanded Hayden for breaching its Code of Conduct after that incident.

"I never complained about what Hayden said. I just took what appeared in the newspapers and forwarded it to James [Sutherland, Cricket Australia's CEO],"
Shah said.
"I had always maintained that it was up to CA to do anything with Hayden."

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