Harbhajan Singh and trouble hand in hand once more

Claims that Harbhajan (playing with Mumbai in the Inian Premier League) lashed out and slapped international team mate S Sreesanth (playing for Kings XI Punjab) at the end of the teams’ clash yesterday will be investigated tomorrow according to Cricinfo. It seems that Sreesanth merely said something along the lines of “hard luck” to Harbhajan as players shook hands, and the fiery spinner responded with a slap.

If the video evidence, as suggested, shows that the “assault” took place, I can’t see Harbie getting off lightly. Following his antics in Australia and warnings from the BCCI to calm down and rectify his conduct, I’d say that there’s the scope to ban him, not just from the remainder of the tournament, but for a few international matches. It sets a very low standard for cricketing conduct, where congratulations and commiserations should be cordially offered by both sides at the conclusion of a match. It shouldn’t matter that both players have sorted out the issue as claimed – it’s not a beneficial image for world cricket and is quite similar to the altercation between Javed Miandad and Dennis Lillee which saw Lillee fined and suspended for 2 one day internationals.

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