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Harbhajan Singh Makes Dramatic U-turn After Aussie Trio Handed Heavy Sanctions

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 30, 2018, 12:50 PM IST
Harbhajan Singh Makes Dramatic U-turn After Aussie Trio Handed Heavy Sanctions

Smith admitted that the Cape Town ball tampering scandal was a failure of his leadership.(Image: AP)

New Delhi: India cricketer Harbhajan Singh has made a dramatic u-turn regarding his views with respect to the ball-tampering saga that rocked the sport last week. Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for 12 months while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for 9 months by Cricket Australia in the wake of scandal.

Earlier, Harbhajan had lashed out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) and accused them of discrimination after Smith was handed just one-match ban for tampering with the ball. Bhajji's post read: "wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidences whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules"

However, Bhajji has now hit out at the decision to ban Smith and Warner for one-year each and also called it ridiculous. The spinner also called on Cricket Australia to reduce the ban for the tainted trio. His post read: "A year ban for ball tempering ?? That’s a joke.What kind of crime they have done ?Taking the game away from someone for a year is absolutely nonsense.understand if ban was for 1 test series or 2 but this is ridiculous.hope @CricketAus reduce th ban @stevesmith49 @davidwarner31"

Moreover, Harbhajan also retweeted Gautam Gambhir's post in which he had questioned the Australia cricket body and went to the extend of saying that the Smith and Warner may be paying the price of revolting against CA for asking to increase the salaries of Aussie cricketers.

Gambhir's first post read: "While cricket needs to be corruption-free but feel sanctions on Aussies bit harsh. Are @stevesmith49 & @davidwarner31 paying for revolt for pay hike? History has it administrators deride those who standup for players’ cause. Classic case: Ian Chappell #BallTampering #StevenSmith"

Earlier, on Thursday, Smith broke down during his interaction with the media at the Sydney Airport and said that he is 'deeply sorry' for what transpired in the Cape Town Test last Saturday.

"I take full responsibility, I made a serious error of judgement and I understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership," he said before breaking down at a press conference after his arrival in Sydney from Johannesburg.

"I will do everything to make up for my mistake. If any good can come for this... it can be a lesson for others. I hope I can be a force for change. I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. I am absolutely gutted. Cricket is my life and hope it can be again. I'm sorry. I'm absolutely devastated," he added.

Then, later in the day, coach Darren Lehmann too couldn't hold his emotions back during the pre-match press conference ahead of the fourth and the final South Africa Test and said that the Johannesburg Test will be his last match at helm.

"This will be my last Test as head coach of the Australian cricket team. My family and I got a lot of abuse over the last week. Speaking to my family, it's the right time to step away," Lehmann said during a press conference on the eve of the match.

"Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I have ever had to do."
First Published: March 30, 2018, 12:48 PM IST

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