India in Australia 2007-08 January 10, 2008

Symonds broke 'pact', which led to incident - Chauhan

Cricinfo staff



Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh had a run-in during Australia's tour of India in October 2007 © Getty Images
 

The Indian team manager Chetan Chauhan has said that Andrew Symonds broke a pact when he instigated a confrontation with Harbhajan Singh during the Sydney Test. The incident led to Harbhjan being charged and later found guilty of racist abuse for calling Symonds a monkey.

Chauhan did not reveal the details of this pact, which, he said, had been made after the ODI series in India in October 2007 during which Harbhajan allegedly called Symonds a monkey. It has been learnt that Symonds met Harbhajan after the seventh one-day international in Mumbai and they agreed that they wouldn't abuse each other henceforth.

"In Mumbai they had a friendly pact, an oral pact," Chauhan told Harsha Bhogle on the Star Cricket channel during the first day of India's tour match in Canberra. "I would say the first person to have broken that pact was the person who has complained. He has said it everywhere that it was he who started it. The cause started from there and then the effect came in."

Chauhan's comments were in response to Bhogle saying that the Australians had maintained that the only incident not in the spirit of the game in Sydney was the Harbhajan issue.

Symonds had said that it was Harbhajan's action, when he decided to "hit Brett [Lee] on the backside", that sparked off the confrontation.

"I have no idea why he did it," Symonds said. "I was standing nearby and when I saw what happened, I thought, 'Hold on, that's not on'. I'm a firm believer in sticking up for your team-mate so I stepped in and had a bit of a crack at Harbhajan, telling him exactly what I thought of his antics. He then had a shot back, which brings us to the situation we're facing."

A complaint was lodged against Harbhajan under section 3.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct and the match referee Mike Procter banned him for three Tests at a hearing after the conclusion of the Sydney Test. India has since appealed against the judgment.