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I was never 'wrong', says relaxed Bhajji

Harbhajan vehemently denied any wrong doing at SCG.

March 3, 2008, 3:01 PM IST
I was never 'wrong', says relaxed Bhajji

Brisbane: Harbhajan Singh, at the centre of a fresh controversy for allegedly making monkey gestures at the SCG crowd, on Monday vehemently denied any wrong doing and said no evidence could be produced to prove him guilty.

All hell broke loose when Harbhajan's name was splashed across all major newspapers of Australia, accusing him of flimsy charges to have "aped" a monkey in front of a provocative crowd while he was fielding at the square leg fence after completing his quota of overs.

The day unfolded quickly with first the news filtering in that Channel 9 has not been able to provide any evidence in support. By afternoon it was a big relief that International Cricket Council (ICC) had not been able to progress any further on the matter for the same reason.

When the Indian spinner was informed that the official broadcaster might not have any incriminating evidence to offer to the match referee to nail him down, he was not surprised.

"Obviously, they wouldn't have anything because I didn't do anything," said Harbhajan on arriving in Brisbane, looking to build on to his fabulous performance of Sunday with a series-sealing triumph at Gabba.

Harbhajan was the toast of the Indian team, and the nation, with his match-winning 2 for 38 from 10 overs, which stalled the World Champions' progress and gave India a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three finals.

Harbhajan said he was stumped at the accusation that he was trying to show "monkey gestures" towards the crowd.

"Some of the verbal attack which the crowd was directing at me was despicable. It crossed all limits of decency. But my word, as a professional cricketer, my entire focus was ensuring that we as a team did well in the match."

Harbhajan was also accused of spitting time and again apparently to taunt the hostile crowd.

"When you have saliva in your mouth what do you do?" said Harbhajan, barely able to hide his irritation.

One of the regulations of the ICC and Cricket Australia (CA) is to ensure that crowd at a stadium does not make any racial slur or abusive gesture towards cricketers on the field and those found guilty of doing so, are to be evacuated immediately -- worse, they could even be banned from attending matches in those stadiums in future.

Clearly, this was not the case at the SCG Sunday night while this supposed "exchanges" were taking place between the crowd and Harbhajan.

"Probably it wasn't possible -- or else the security would've had to clear the entire stadium," said Harbhajan laughingly, showing that even in this hour of extreme pressure, he hadn't lost his sense of humour.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
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