London: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has lambasted International Cricket Council for bowing down to Indian cricket board and appeasing them on every count to save the tour.
Hussain said ICC's sacking of Steve Bucknor and putting Brad Hogg on dock on charges of hurling abusive language on Anil Kumble and Co. during the controversy-ridden Sydney Test was kowtowing to the financial clout of BCCI. Hussain said he sympathised with India for having to lose the Sydney Test because of umpiring blunders but was critical of India having asked ICC to sack Bucknor.
"I have a whole heap of sympathy for what happened to India during the second Test in Sydney. The umpiring was diabolical and the big decisions that went against them almost certainly cost them a match they could have won.
"India lose my sympathy for the way they have seemingly dictated who umpires their next Test. You simply cannot do that,â€ Hussain wrote in his column in Daily Mail.
"By all means put in a report saying that you did not think a certain umpire had a good game and highlight what he got wrong, but for India to demand that Steve Bucknor be replaced for the third Test in Perth, and for the ICC to agree to it, has terrible implications for the game, " he wrote.
"Why have the ICC decided to get tough now? Is it to appease the financial clout of India or is it because they have finally decided to get tough on sledging?" he asked.
Hussain admitted that umpiring standards have been slipping badly over the last few years but felt Bucknor could have been replaced at the end of a series, instead of removing from Perth Test on India's dictat.
The cricketer-cum-commentator also felt that if Harbhajan had called Andrew Symonds a 'monkey' or used any sort of racial abuse I would say to him (Harbhajan): 'Sorry, you are
on your own.'
India may claim that the use of the word monkey was not meant to be offensive but, I'm sorry, for Harbhajan to use it, if he did, to the only player of mixed race in the Australian side just a few months after Symonds received racial abuse from some Indian fans on tour there means he is on very thin ice," the Indian origin cricketer said.
"There is certainly no place for racial comments of any kind in society, let alone in sport." ussain also saw ICC kowtowing to India in charging Brad Hogg under the same level of ICC Code of Conduct as Harbhajan.
"It smacks of more weak administrating from the ICC. If he is now facing the same charge as Harbhajan, then that is simply the governing body bowing down to India again.
"If any Australian cricketer who used words like that had faced a charge over the years, they wouldn't have got a team out on the park," he said.
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