Controversy January 5, 2008

Ponting and the case against Harbhajan

The Symonds affair and the charge of racial abuse laid against Harbhajan Singh by Ricky Ponting could change the way in which international cricket is monitored and regulated
718

The Symonds affair and the charge of racial abuse laid against Harbhajan Singh by Ricky Ponting could change the way in which international cricket is monitored and regulated. I say ‘could’ because the affair could also pan out straightforwardly with punishment for Harbhajan and no general consequences for the game.

If there is any corroborative evidence (besides the testimony of Symonds, Matthew Hayden and Ponting) that Harbhajan used racist taunts when he responded to Symonds’ comments by confronting him on the field, Harbhajan should not only be banned for the period laid down by the ICC’s rules, the BCCI should put the spinner on notice: it should warn Harbhajan that any subsequent offence will result in his banishment from international cricket. The board equivocated in the matter of racist abuse from spectators in Vadodara and Mumbai; it mustn’t make that mistake again. Mike Proctor hasn’t revealed the specific comment(s) for which Harbhajan is charged, but the rumour in Australian newspapers is that Harbhjan called Symonds a monkey. Chetan Chauhan, the Indian team manager, has been reported saying that Harbhajan denies having said this; he is also reported as saying in the same breath that ‘monkey’ in Indian usage isn’t a derogatory word. If the report is accurate, this is exactly the kind of shiftiness that the touring team’s management should avoid. If Harbhajan called Symonds a monkey he should go down; preferably forever.

Newspaper reports seem to suggest that the umpires didn’t hear the exchange that gave rise to the charge. Channel 9 has reviewed its audio tapes and found no record of the offensive comments either. They do, however, have recordings of the subsequent chat which involved Hayden, Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan. So it is possible that these tapes have Harbhajan referring to his comments, perhaps even apologizing for them. In the pictures that I saw while watching the telecast, I saw Harbhajan making what seemed to be conciliatory hand gestures. If he was apologizing and his apology contains the offending word and if that word is ‘monkey’ or something similarly racist, that should be evidence enough.

The other possibility is that in the course of the hearing, Tendulkar, who was batting with Harbhajan at the time and who seemed to have heard part of the exchange, isn’t able to whole-heartedly exonerate Harbhajan. It’s unlikely that he’d explicitly ‘shop’ a team-mate but Tendulkar’s an honourable man and if he heard Harbhajan flinging racist abuse about, he might be reluctant to perjure himself. This is an unlikely outcome: in his public statements about the spat, Tendulkar has said that he heard nothing objectionable said, but it’s just possible that in the grave context of a quasi-judicial hearing, his account of the incident might subtly change in ways unfavourable to Harbhajan.

However, if neither tape nor Tendulkar backs up the Australian charge, then international cricket’s in trouble. Hayden has been quoted as saying that the Australian’s have a very strong case. If the case is based on the kind of connections that are being reported in Australian press, the evidence is underwhelming. The Sun-Herald has reported that the Australian case will be based on the argument that Harbhajan is a ‘repeat offender’. The Australians will, apparently, allege that Harbhajan used the monkey taunt against Symonds in the seventh ODI in Mumbai in October. Michael Slater, who commented on that match, has backed up that claim. The trouble with this argument is that the Australian team didn’t lodge a complaint against Harbhajan at the time and I haven’t heard or read Slater going on record about Harbhajan’s Wankhede behaviour before the current crisis.

Given that Harbhajan and the Australians had tangled in the course of the series and Harbhajan had alleged after the 2nd ODI that the Australians had abused Indian players with ‘personal and vulgar’ words, the ‘repeat offender’ argument, without other corroborative evidence, will seem like a way of settling scores, rather than punishing bigotry. Harbhajan could equally argue that Symonds’ comments were part of a pattern of offensive Australian behaviour. This is what he said after the second ODI in India:

“After the match Harbhajan was not laughing and said the Australians had shown themselves to be bad losers after their defeat to India in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup. "They clearly did not like that," Harbhajan said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "They are a very good cricket side, but that does not mean that they can do whatever they want to do. They say they play the game in the right spirit, but they don't in reality. There is nothing gentlemanly about the way they play."

After being dismissed by Michael Clarke in the 84-run loss, Harbhajan waited mid-pitch and pointed his bat. "I was responding to a lot of vulgar words that were said to me," he said. "I don't have any problem with chitchat on the field, so long as it is about the game. But when it is very personal and vulgar, that is not on. They think you cannot fight back and they do not like it when you do.”

Cricket has been down this road once before. Some years ago Rashid Latif was accused by Adam Gilchrist of calling him a ‘white c__t”. Latif denied the charge and was exonerated; it was his word against Gilchrist’s and there was no way of proving the charge. If the Harbhajan-Symonds dispute ends the same way, the consequences could be larger. If it turns out that Ponting made an accusation of racism which the Australians couldn’t back up, the accused Indians will be left with a lively sense of grievance and injury. There’ll be no shortage of people arguing that the Australians tried to opportunistically fit Harbhajan up in the middle of a closely contested Test match, or, more seriously, that Ponting recklessly used cricket’s adjudicatory process to intimidate and unsettle an opponent.

Australian cricketers famously leave on-field quarrels on the field. Ponting has chosen to take Harbhajan to ‘court’. Slater supports the decision because racism is unacceptable and he’s right. Racism is unacceptable. But if Ponting can’t come up with the evidence for a ‘conviction’, if his case is based on Symonds’ word and Harbhajan’s ‘prior form’, I can see players and officials asking for stump microphones to be left on all the time so that allegations of this sort in the future can be settled by technology. I can also see players retaining libel lawyers and disputes like this one being resolved in real law courts.

If Mike Proctor finds against Harbhajan, Indians might simmer awhile, but the Australians will have been vindicated. If he clears him, there’s a real chance that on-field chat will be systematically monitored in the future, and Ponting’s recourse to the match referee might well be remembered as the day Big Brother came to stay.

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in New Delhi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • WILLIAM on March 5, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    Playing with Australian cricket team is like playing with a bunch of immature and naughty school kids who believe that winning is what counts, no matter how. Any cricket series played in Australian soil is always full of controversies. I hope that the recent defeat in the CB series will trigger these 30+ years old kids to re-think their approach towards the game.

  • Philip John Joseph on January 31, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    Wrong Khanman. It is not possible for a brown skin to be racist agains a white skin, because brown skins haven't done anything to white skins. If an African-American refers to another African-American, using the famous American N-word, nobody considers it racist, yet everybody knows that if a white uses it against an African-American, then it IS racist. Therefore, who uses the terms in question is the most important issue, because brown skins can say anything they want to, because they haven't done what the white skins have done in terms of criminal activity motivated by racism. Furthermore, put a "stump" microphone in any Indian school, and you will repeatedly hear Indian teachers berating their students for their misbehaviour by calling them "monkeys." Therefore, if Harbhajan uses the word "monkey", it is racist to accuse him of racism, because the Australians are effectively saying that Indian teachers are irrelevant and there is only one "white" standard for the use of that word.

  • Aman on January 28, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    i just have one question for everyone here. how is being called "monkey" more raicist then being called "Turbanator"

  • Khanman on January 17, 2008, 9:12 GMT

    I think its a shame that Harbhajan abused Symonds racially...Indian cricketers are always seeking world sympathy for racialism against them..this time they over did it and got caught red handed...but as always they have Australians to be blamed for it...what a sham !

  • Smita on January 11, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    going by the blog, i am a little confused infact rather very confused...a bastard is a demeaning term in the english language as much as i know...so how does culture come into it??...calling someone a bastard is not just demeaning a person...it demeans the entire lineage of the person in the end demeaning the entire reason of the person's being...still maybe i am not understanding something... and monkey atleast by indian cultural sense not an abuse, and how does it end up being a racial abuse is a question i have no idea about... if i want to watch a war i can switch on the news channel rather than a games channel...now it all depends on what you make your game into...a war or a match...a celebration of life or voilent end of life...

  • Ben Davis on January 10, 2008, 13:47 GMT

    I have never written on this or any other forum before in my whole life. But the Harbajhan - Symonds affair has compelled me to write in. The whole of the cricket world, media and general public seem to have missed the point.

    1. The racist comment incident.

    2. Bad Umpiring

    There are not in any way shape or form related and I find it unbelievable and depressing that they seem to be treated as such. Are the egeneral public, cricket offciials and media that stupid? Have they missed the point completely, it seems so.

    Singh has been accused of racism towards Symonds. He was found guilty. Three match ban. Ok the Indians were unhappy and appealed, as there are entitled too. Hold the appeal andf make the decsiion one way or the other case closed. Hold the appeal before the next test and get it sorted so he play/or not play.

    Steve Bucknor made some awful decisons. All umpires bad decisons. When David Sheppered gave out five english batsmen gave out off Saqlain Mushtaq no balls, was he dropped? No, this sets a precedent, a dangerous precdent. What will umpires around the world be thinking now, one make a couple of ricks and there out. There job is hard enough as it is without this in the back of their minds.

    But ok has been dropped and Harbajhan banned for his comments. What ahve they got to do with each other? Absolutely nothing! If Bucknor had had the best match of his life Harbajhan would still have been banned.

    Other arguments are that the aussies claimed catches which turned out to be grounded. Somehow this isn related to the Hardbajhan incident also, how exactly? It is ludicrous!!!

    Boycott, Roebuck and too many others to mention are coming out with statements along the line of "oh the aussies are complaining about sledging, thats a bit rich". The Aussies arent complaining about sledging, one of their players has been racially abused! Unbelievable! Its not as if Singh was just like "ooh your average isnt great mate, or your bowling rubbish". This is racist abuse!

    Ponting and the aussie team, and what seems like the sportmanship of the entire aussie nation is being called into question. For a couple of appeals for catches, which goes on in every test match and one dayer from every nation, this is silly?

    If someone could please answer me it would be very much appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tushar mathur on January 10, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    MUST MUST READ FOR ALL INDIAN CRICKET FANS...

    Simply ENOUGH has been written post the SCG Test regarding how the umpires cost India the match, how Aussies cheat desperately to win, how Ponting and his men lack integrity and sportsmanship and blah blah..Its about time someone came and placed the facts right..

    The Umpiring decisions - Yup! India were on the recieving end of some poor decisions most notably Symonds caugh behind not being given and Dravid being adjudjed caught behind when he clearly hadn't edged it. Well how everyone has so conveniently overseen is how Laxman survived a plumb LBW shot against Brett Lee(who himself was unlucky to be given LB when he and Symonds were batting.) And since when have Umpires not made mistakes and cause a match to be won or lost.. Why is it being made such a big issue? Why is everyone's memory so short - the 7th ODI b/w Indo-Aus in India in 2007 Murali Karthik edged to Gilchrist when India were already in the shambles, he didn't walk, the umpire didn't give him out and India went on to win. Which would have not been the result had he been given out. Ponting laughed it off at the end of the match as some of you might remember. What happned then? And how about the "famous" Indo-Aus test series of 2001. There were Indian umpires officiating who have never umpired since and some of the decisions during that series were diabolical to say the least. Just cast your mind to Harbhajan's hatrick, Gilchrist got an inside edge AND the ball pitched outside leg and he was given LBW, and Warne was given caught by the third umpire without even seeing the angles of the shot and gave him out on the basis of a replay which was hidden by the fielder who caught the ball. The Third Umpire had no idea whether Warne had taken the ball on the full and the replays were inconclusive. Not only that Aussies bore a brunt of poor decsions in the 2nd Innings at Kolkatta.including mcGraths wicket which was the last to fall. So do umpires mess up..Ya they surely do but do you cry and make a scene about it - no you don't. What you do is play well which includes batting 72 overs in a not so bad pitch(Hussey and Haydo scoring centuries against Kumble and Bhajji's "world class" spin) and not losing 6 wickets(5 dravid excluded) to part timers like Symo and Clarke.

    And coming to 'Ponting's integrity' regarding the catches. Lets go back to the India-England series when Dhoni claimed a caught behind off Pieterson when he had clearly ground the ball. Dravid and Tendulkar in the slips did go up and celebrate. Now does this mean they are cheaters??? WHY WHY was it not made an issue at that time when the catch was claimed and it has been blown out of proprtion at the SCG??? Especially when Ponting himself in the first Indian innings clarified that he had grounded a catch after he took it!! All this talk is senseless.

  • Scott on January 10, 2008, 5:21 GMT

    Despite the poor umpiring in this test, have any of the Indian supporters thought for a moment that instead of blaming the umpire, that they have a look at Jaffa and Yuvraj's contributions for the Sydney test.

    If EITHER of them scored their average in Test cricket during the final innings, I have no doubt that India would have saved the Test.

    If either of these two players get a start in Perth will show what a circus Indian Cricket is in.

    Also, nice to see the ICC caving in again everytime India doesn't get their way.

    Jaffer: Series AVG: 11.50 Yuvraj: : Series AVG: 4.25

    Have a look in your own backyard before you go ruining the careers of other people!

  • nik on January 9, 2008, 19:45 GMT

    Look at the outcome. Harbhajan, Bucknor punished. Symonds also can't be a happy person. Most shameful acts were carried out by Benson,Oxenford,Proctor and the Aussie - Team & Managers. And this has been happening always. Good to see Asians awake. ICL - take notice and IPL it is disgusting. Spend money on millions of poor in the region.

  • PLSRAJU on January 9, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    Ponting and Co (especially Symonds & Clarke) have taken Cricket Australia to a different path. Winning at any cost.

    The second test belongs to India. But for the umpires who played for Australia, India would have easily won the match. Nobody is thinking on the match fixing angle. The umpires have fixed the match for Australia. Yes, if such things dont go checked, people can level all charges !

    Beware and wakeup ICC. Use TECHNOLOGY. If ICC is still adamant not using technology, cricket will die.

  • WILLIAM on March 5, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    Playing with Australian cricket team is like playing with a bunch of immature and naughty school kids who believe that winning is what counts, no matter how. Any cricket series played in Australian soil is always full of controversies. I hope that the recent defeat in the CB series will trigger these 30+ years old kids to re-think their approach towards the game.

  • Philip John Joseph on January 31, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    Wrong Khanman. It is not possible for a brown skin to be racist agains a white skin, because brown skins haven't done anything to white skins. If an African-American refers to another African-American, using the famous American N-word, nobody considers it racist, yet everybody knows that if a white uses it against an African-American, then it IS racist. Therefore, who uses the terms in question is the most important issue, because brown skins can say anything they want to, because they haven't done what the white skins have done in terms of criminal activity motivated by racism. Furthermore, put a "stump" microphone in any Indian school, and you will repeatedly hear Indian teachers berating their students for their misbehaviour by calling them "monkeys." Therefore, if Harbhajan uses the word "monkey", it is racist to accuse him of racism, because the Australians are effectively saying that Indian teachers are irrelevant and there is only one "white" standard for the use of that word.

  • Aman on January 28, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    i just have one question for everyone here. how is being called "monkey" more raicist then being called "Turbanator"

  • Khanman on January 17, 2008, 9:12 GMT

    I think its a shame that Harbhajan abused Symonds racially...Indian cricketers are always seeking world sympathy for racialism against them..this time they over did it and got caught red handed...but as always they have Australians to be blamed for it...what a sham !

  • Smita on January 11, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    going by the blog, i am a little confused infact rather very confused...a bastard is a demeaning term in the english language as much as i know...so how does culture come into it??...calling someone a bastard is not just demeaning a person...it demeans the entire lineage of the person in the end demeaning the entire reason of the person's being...still maybe i am not understanding something... and monkey atleast by indian cultural sense not an abuse, and how does it end up being a racial abuse is a question i have no idea about... if i want to watch a war i can switch on the news channel rather than a games channel...now it all depends on what you make your game into...a war or a match...a celebration of life or voilent end of life...

  • Ben Davis on January 10, 2008, 13:47 GMT

    I have never written on this or any other forum before in my whole life. But the Harbajhan - Symonds affair has compelled me to write in. The whole of the cricket world, media and general public seem to have missed the point.

    1. The racist comment incident.

    2. Bad Umpiring

    There are not in any way shape or form related and I find it unbelievable and depressing that they seem to be treated as such. Are the egeneral public, cricket offciials and media that stupid? Have they missed the point completely, it seems so.

    Singh has been accused of racism towards Symonds. He was found guilty. Three match ban. Ok the Indians were unhappy and appealed, as there are entitled too. Hold the appeal andf make the decsiion one way or the other case closed. Hold the appeal before the next test and get it sorted so he play/or not play.

    Steve Bucknor made some awful decisons. All umpires bad decisons. When David Sheppered gave out five english batsmen gave out off Saqlain Mushtaq no balls, was he dropped? No, this sets a precedent, a dangerous precdent. What will umpires around the world be thinking now, one make a couple of ricks and there out. There job is hard enough as it is without this in the back of their minds.

    But ok has been dropped and Harbajhan banned for his comments. What ahve they got to do with each other? Absolutely nothing! If Bucknor had had the best match of his life Harbajhan would still have been banned.

    Other arguments are that the aussies claimed catches which turned out to be grounded. Somehow this isn related to the Hardbajhan incident also, how exactly? It is ludicrous!!!

    Boycott, Roebuck and too many others to mention are coming out with statements along the line of "oh the aussies are complaining about sledging, thats a bit rich". The Aussies arent complaining about sledging, one of their players has been racially abused! Unbelievable! Its not as if Singh was just like "ooh your average isnt great mate, or your bowling rubbish". This is racist abuse!

    Ponting and the aussie team, and what seems like the sportmanship of the entire aussie nation is being called into question. For a couple of appeals for catches, which goes on in every test match and one dayer from every nation, this is silly?

    If someone could please answer me it would be very much appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tushar mathur on January 10, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    MUST MUST READ FOR ALL INDIAN CRICKET FANS...

    Simply ENOUGH has been written post the SCG Test regarding how the umpires cost India the match, how Aussies cheat desperately to win, how Ponting and his men lack integrity and sportsmanship and blah blah..Its about time someone came and placed the facts right..

    The Umpiring decisions - Yup! India were on the recieving end of some poor decisions most notably Symonds caugh behind not being given and Dravid being adjudjed caught behind when he clearly hadn't edged it. Well how everyone has so conveniently overseen is how Laxman survived a plumb LBW shot against Brett Lee(who himself was unlucky to be given LB when he and Symonds were batting.) And since when have Umpires not made mistakes and cause a match to be won or lost.. Why is it being made such a big issue? Why is everyone's memory so short - the 7th ODI b/w Indo-Aus in India in 2007 Murali Karthik edged to Gilchrist when India were already in the shambles, he didn't walk, the umpire didn't give him out and India went on to win. Which would have not been the result had he been given out. Ponting laughed it off at the end of the match as some of you might remember. What happned then? And how about the "famous" Indo-Aus test series of 2001. There were Indian umpires officiating who have never umpired since and some of the decisions during that series were diabolical to say the least. Just cast your mind to Harbhajan's hatrick, Gilchrist got an inside edge AND the ball pitched outside leg and he was given LBW, and Warne was given caught by the third umpire without even seeing the angles of the shot and gave him out on the basis of a replay which was hidden by the fielder who caught the ball. The Third Umpire had no idea whether Warne had taken the ball on the full and the replays were inconclusive. Not only that Aussies bore a brunt of poor decsions in the 2nd Innings at Kolkatta.including mcGraths wicket which was the last to fall. So do umpires mess up..Ya they surely do but do you cry and make a scene about it - no you don't. What you do is play well which includes batting 72 overs in a not so bad pitch(Hussey and Haydo scoring centuries against Kumble and Bhajji's "world class" spin) and not losing 6 wickets(5 dravid excluded) to part timers like Symo and Clarke.

    And coming to 'Ponting's integrity' regarding the catches. Lets go back to the India-England series when Dhoni claimed a caught behind off Pieterson when he had clearly ground the ball. Dravid and Tendulkar in the slips did go up and celebrate. Now does this mean they are cheaters??? WHY WHY was it not made an issue at that time when the catch was claimed and it has been blown out of proprtion at the SCG??? Especially when Ponting himself in the first Indian innings clarified that he had grounded a catch after he took it!! All this talk is senseless.

  • Scott on January 10, 2008, 5:21 GMT

    Despite the poor umpiring in this test, have any of the Indian supporters thought for a moment that instead of blaming the umpire, that they have a look at Jaffa and Yuvraj's contributions for the Sydney test.

    If EITHER of them scored their average in Test cricket during the final innings, I have no doubt that India would have saved the Test.

    If either of these two players get a start in Perth will show what a circus Indian Cricket is in.

    Also, nice to see the ICC caving in again everytime India doesn't get their way.

    Jaffer: Series AVG: 11.50 Yuvraj: : Series AVG: 4.25

    Have a look in your own backyard before you go ruining the careers of other people!

  • nik on January 9, 2008, 19:45 GMT

    Look at the outcome. Harbhajan, Bucknor punished. Symonds also can't be a happy person. Most shameful acts were carried out by Benson,Oxenford,Proctor and the Aussie - Team & Managers. And this has been happening always. Good to see Asians awake. ICL - take notice and IPL it is disgusting. Spend money on millions of poor in the region.

  • PLSRAJU on January 9, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    Ponting and Co (especially Symonds & Clarke) have taken Cricket Australia to a different path. Winning at any cost.

    The second test belongs to India. But for the umpires who played for Australia, India would have easily won the match. Nobody is thinking on the match fixing angle. The umpires have fixed the match for Australia. Yes, if such things dont go checked, people can level all charges !

    Beware and wakeup ICC. Use TECHNOLOGY. If ICC is still adamant not using technology, cricket will die.

  • SAIF ZIA on January 9, 2008, 11:46 GMT

    First of all Bucknor showed the extreme extent of poor umpiring.And racism is a part of aussie cricket.Aussies are the masters of racism.From border to punter ,from taylor to waugh,fromthompson to healy,.Andrew Symonds is the new heir to this system it seems.Zimbawbeans,Bangladeshis,Indians and players from other nations to recieve this- not -very kind treatment that makes themswear on God that they will never play against the sick-minded AUSSIES.They are a black spot on cricket.When racism, sledging, corruption and all bad things will vanish from cricket then I am sure AUSTRALIA will struggle to win matches.

  • Pol on January 9, 2008, 11:25 GMT

    The Australian team should refuse to play the third test if Harbhajan is in the Indian team.Racism cannot be tolerated and Harbhajan is a repeat offender.What would the ICC do then.

  • Vineet Gupta on January 8, 2008, 18:57 GMT

    What surprises me the most, is why don't Aussies appreciate the Indian sense of humor. Its the same Aussie crowd that pulled out an laugh riot in an episode which is popularly known as "Botham the Pig". How can Aussies forget the pig-chant tailor made for Ian Botham and Eddie Hemmings at the Gabba Test during England's 1982-83 tour? Mr. Symonds in case you are not aware of this, just look at the pic on the left hand side and the video: Botham the pig, before you launch your next protest at "Symonds the pig" (with all due respect to the pig race). A pig with Botham written on the right hand side, Eddie on other, and an Australian flag tied to his tale was made to walk right through the boundary rope into the stadium in that test. Botham never walked out of the ground, or made any suggestions that the "Pig Chant" can be contrived as being racist, let alone going into press or racing the issue with the then "Imperial Cricket Council".

  • Lalit on January 8, 2008, 17:44 GMT

    Mr Charmin is fast to shame Harbhajan first and then making a point that if he has not mentioned that word it would have been settled on the ground. Isn't it double standard ? What makes you think he said it ? Do you think Mr Hyden / Clarke et al are saint ? Do you view great Sachin Tendulkar along with Bhajji / Kumble as sinner ? Let me tell you, winning is not everything in a game, its the way you win. And Australia by winning the 2nd test in the manner has lost all the respect for game they play. Rickie and his company should understand that they don't have even half the integrity, they talk much about, what Sachin Tendulkar alone commands in this game of cricket which is no less than Religion in India.

  • 4-0 on January 8, 2008, 14:31 GMT

    Any other result than 4-0 is an approbation of whining and self-righteousness.

    I'm not trying to be deliberately difficult here. I'm just genuinely disgusted by what India sees as sportsmanship...

    You were absolutely 100% robbed by the umpires in the 2nd Test.

    But you're not even .0001% close to being the world #1.

  • 4-0 on January 8, 2008, 14:25 GMT

    Any other result than 4-0 is an approbation of whining and self-righteousness.

    I'm not trying to be deliberately difficult here. I'm just genuinely disgusted by what India sees as sportsmanship...

  • nick on January 8, 2008, 13:22 GMT

    As an Australian I apologise to all of India for my team's despicable behavoir in the latest test match. Micheal Clarke standing his ground after slogging it to 1st slip, Ponting appointing himself final arbiter of ruling on close-to-ground catches, lack of handshaking/overall respect for the opposition at the end of this amazing game, etc etc I could go on and on. For this all Australians should fell ashamed. Our team really needs to learn the basic fact that winning is NOT everything. Some great cricketers are besploiling their legacy with their petulant ways. The horrible umpiring is of course a separate matter and we can't blame the Aust team for that. I just hope we can look back at the scorecard in 20-30 years and see that this was an amazing test match that kept all true fans on edge for 5 days. Amazing cricket was played, the game is bigger than this.

  • Slip51 on January 8, 2008, 11:55 GMT

    There has been many references in the foregoing comments to double standards well here is one for you. Michael Clarke cannot be believed when he said he cleanly caught Ganguly despite no clear evidence to the contrary but Barji must be believed when he said he did not use the "M" word despite having done so only a few months earlier. Please.

  • Mukund Rajan on January 8, 2008, 11:42 GMT

    I don’t see a problem in the Australians playing or appealing the way they did in the match..that’s their job and decision making is the umpire’s job. However what is sick is that Clarke,Ponting and their other team mates are defending themselves saying that nothing wrong happened and the umpiring was consistent…Moreover the charge on Harbhajan is silly and school boyish to say the least. The Australians can say whatever they want and blatantly abuse others and think it’s ethical but when an opponent gives them something back they have a problem with it. I am sure that even if Harbhajan actually said what was alleged of him, it was hardly done with a racial intention…It’s time u moved on Mr. Ponting to the real thing-Playing cricket….. and sidestep racism and abuse because you and your team have the least right to talk on these issues because you are the worst perpetrators of abuse and unethical behavior on the field..…

  • poor old bowler on January 8, 2008, 9:33 GMT

    i dont know what all the whinging is about.

    harbajahn should cop his ban sweet on the chin and move on.

    the icc have given in to the biggest bunch of cry babies i have ever seen in sport, since when does a team whinge,whine and over a umpire to have him sacked, i dont like umpires very much but i accept thier decisions.

    fair enough tell the umpire what you think of his decision thier and then,but to cry like babies for 3 days after a match is shameful and both anil kumble and sachin tendulkar should be sacked for thier behavior they are a disgrace to all indians and cricket.

    i would never allow my team mates to carry on in such a matter i would tell we will sort it out in the next test,problem solved no crying involved.

    as for anil kumble comments about only team playing with the spirit of the game i thinks thats rubbish, the only people i ever met that bring up rubbish about the spirit of the game, are people who carnt play cricket or people who never played cricket.

  • Mohit Nirula on January 8, 2008, 9:14 GMT

    Australia is the USA of World Cricket. The parallels are unmistakable. Australia, in cricket, is clearly a world leader with the skills, infrastructure and an administration capable of grooming a team capable of being the best in the world. Equally, the arrogance of the team and myopic vision of it's leader has resulted in the team being universally disliked and disrespected. The Australian Cricket Team had the opportunity to be respected and be the bench mark for others to aspire to. Instead, like the USA, it represents an opportunty lost. Introspection is the need of the hour. Unlike the Presidential Election in the US, the Australian population does not have the opportunity to vote Ricky and his cohorts out of office.

  • James on January 8, 2008, 8:52 GMT

    (6) MATCH REFREE decisions will be taken purely on the AUSTRALIAN TEAM advices only. Player views from the other teams decisions will not be considered for hearing. MATCH REFREES are to be given huge bonus if this rule is implemented.(7)NO VISITING TEAM should plan to win in AUSTRALIA. This is to ensure that the sportive spirit of CRICKET is maintained.(8) THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE : If any bowler gets RICKY PONTING - "THE UNDISPUTED CRICKETER WITH INTEGTIRY IN THE GAME OF CRICKET" more than twice in a series, he will be banned for the REST OF THE SERIES. This is to ensure that the best batsman/Captain will be played to break records and create history in the game of CRICKET. These rules will clarify better to the all the teams VISITING AUSTRALIA .

  • James on January 8, 2008, 8:51 GMT

    3)While BATTING, AUSTRALIAN players will wait for the ON-FIELD UMPIRE decisions only (even if the catch goes to the FIFTH SLIP as the ball might not have touched the bat). Each AUSTRALIAN batsman has to be out FOUR TIMES (minimum) before he can return to the pavilion. In case of THE CRICKETER WITH INTEGRITY, this can be higher. 4)UMPIRES should consider a huge bonus if an AUSTRALIAN player scores a century. Any wrong decisions can be ignored as they will be paid huge bonus and will receive the backing of the AUSTRALIAN team and board. (5)All AUSTRALIAN players are eligible to keep commenting about all players on the field and the OPPONENT TEAM should never comment as they will be spoiling the spirit of the AUSTRALIAN team. Any comments made in any other language are to be considered as RACIALISM only.

  • James on January 8, 2008, 8:48 GMT

    (1) Ricky Ponting – (THE TRULY GENUINE CRICKETER OF THE CRICKET ERA AND WHOSE INTEGRITY SHOULD NOT BE DOUBTED ) should be considered as the FOURTH UMPIRE. As per the new rules, FOURTH UMPIRE decision is final and will over ride any decisions taken by any other umpires. ON-FIELD umpires can seek the assistance of RICKY PONTING even if he is not on the field. This rule is to be made, so that every team should understand the importance of the FOURTH UMPIRE .

    (2) While AUSTRALIAN TEAM is bowling, If the ball flies anywhere close to the AUSTRALIAN FIELDER(WITHIN 5 metre distance), the batsman is to be considered OUT irrelevant of whether the catch was taken cleanly or grassed. Any decision for further clarification should be seeked from the FOURTH UMPIRE. This is made to ensure that the cricket is played with SPORTIVE SPIRIT by all the teams.

  • krish on January 8, 2008, 7:05 GMT

    Mr. Mukul Kesavan, It is very important for u to understand that when u comment on controverises u need to be unbiased and just present facts. U cannot ascribe motives or pass judgements on people's behaviour or advocate action against them. Harbhajan's supposed apology that u claim he made cannot be an evidence against himself. Instead of accepting it and let it go at that, you are using it to castigate him further and even advocating his permanent removal. Please have some sense in reasoning. In the present case, nobody in the world can say what actually was the 'exchange of words' between the two. There is no conlusive evidence and no recordings to incriminate anybody. You seem to give more credence to what Aussies have told the umpire. Mark Benson is culpable for calling only Harbhajan and talking to him. Why didn't he call Symonds and other Aussies and talk to them too. 'Monkey' is not a racist taunt. The Aussies have been badmouthing Indian players with more virulent barbs.

  • IndianBob on January 8, 2008, 7:01 GMT

    I think there are two issues here 1. The role of Ponting: To me, it appears that he is getting preferential treatment. Not only that, he is the one calling the shots. His dominance is apparent when he says he bastman is out, the upmire has to concur. I think the captancy etc has gone to his head and he has become obnoxious who just sees good in what he/his team does. His integrity is in question and I prsonally won't watch Australia in the future. 2. Australians are epitome of sledging. It really surprises me that they would cry and go to the umpires. I mean, they are the host. They should know better. I think they are still bitter about the incident in India which was obviously very shameful. Instead of handling the that issue, they are trying to solve it in a round about way will create more problems than solve any.

    Indians shouldn't play the final test. ICC and all are spineless. They have now removed Bucknor after standing behind it. Way to go!! BCCI, think of players first!!

  • RS on January 8, 2008, 6:43 GMT

    Few thoughts : everyone agrees that racism has no place in sports. The moot point that most folks seem to have overlooked is that there in NO conclusive proof in this case (unlike Lehmann) and it was the word of 3 Aussies against 3 Indians. On what basis did Mike Procter get convinced that the slur was used ? For folks like Chris, please realize that the inherent issue here is racial - that the word of 3 men from Australia should count more and that an entirely subjective judgement with no parallel to any natural justice be used to frankly, emotionally lynch a player. If Harbhajan had been found to have said this, as captured visually or orally, ban him. But please make the process or evidence considered transparent and open, and elucidate why you arrived at such a judgement.

    And please spare us talk of "I am South African and know racism " - surely Mike Procter was not at the receiving end of racism, during apartheid ? The wearer knows where the shoe pinches

  • Sorab on January 8, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    Mike Proctor says he knows what racism is, that is because he actively practices it by going after subcontinental sides and favoring caucasians. Remember his preferential treatment of Michael Slater in Mumbai 2001? If that had been Ganguly, a three match ban would have been imposed. Further, as pointed out by Prem Panicker on rediff why has Ponting not been brought up for violating the code of conduct like Rashid Latif was by (surprise surprise) Mike Proctor for claiming a bump ball as a catch. The Aussies seem to be practicing holding the ball against the ground when they dive with one hand to help them retain control. Everyone knows that when the back of the hand hits the ground, the chance of a ball popping out increases. The biggest racist in cricket seems to be the man making decisions about racism.

  • Arjun Chaudhuri on January 8, 2008, 6:11 GMT

    No one really knows what Harbhajan Singh told Andrew Symonds. None of those in the playing arena, that is, the members of the fielding and the batting sides and the umpires, are really expected to carry audio recording devices to the field. And, unfortunately, stump microphones aren’t really acoustic gems, that would catch everything, as yet.

    Having said that, as it is being charged against Harbhajan, that he referred to Symonds as a ‘monkey’—a racial slur? Is that Australian English? If that’s the case, does the International Cricket Council go by Australian English. Then the ICC should conduct a training on Australian English for all those who come under its fold—cricketers and officials involved in all ICC-recognised matches and meetings.

    And, if ‘monkey’ hurts the sentiments of one’s race, then ‘black monkey’ definitely does it as well, and does it more. ‘Black monkey’ is precisely what Glen McGrath was reported to have said to Ramnaresh Sarwan on field when a Test was on.

  • Cam on January 8, 2008, 6:05 GMT

    Having been in India many times for business reasons I have heard the work Monkey used by Indian business people as a derogatory term many times. Australia defintely won 60/40 of the wrong umpire decisions with some major results but that has always been cricket. A draw would have been the best result. Finally its only a game and a great game played between two great nations. Let it go and lets move on.

  • Luke Bursle on January 8, 2008, 5:57 GMT

    How ridiculous that the Indian team claims Australia is not playing in the spirit of the game and cites the Ganguly Ganguly catch as evidence. The captains made an agreement before the series that if the fielder was 100% certain a catch was taken then it would be given out. That happened, Ganguly was out, there was certainly no evidence on video to claim otherwise. The only deviation from the spirit of the game came after the catch when Ganguly stood his ground far longer than needed to confirm the catch. To make matters worse Kumble and the Indian team then decides to withdraw from this gentlemans agreement because it cost them a wicket! What was the point of the agreement. India has always used things like this in order to cover the eyes of an adoring Indian public so as to disguise the fact that a team which matches the best in the world in talent simply cannot match them in willingness or intenstity over 5 days. Get your act together India we want to see some real competition.

  • Rogue (Srl) on January 8, 2008, 5:24 GMT

    As a Srilankan I find it ironic how there is always a major outburst of public outcry when India is on the loosing end. Accept it India is the worst loosers! Example 1996 world cup semifinal India Vs Sri Lanka Yes there was bad umpiring decisions but India lost that is the bottom line. Take our last tour of Austrailia the second test we lost only by 80 odd runs and Sangakkara was subjected to a real bad umpiring decision but did we whine about it like the Indians do? No Because that is how it is. Darren Lehmann made racial taunts against Srl he was banned for 5 ODIs made a verbal apology that was it! Why cant Harbajan take the high road and admit his mistake! Ofcause there are many Austrailian racists but there are also many Indian racists. The problem here is the two most racist countries are playing each other! That doesnt mean all people in both countries are racist but on a avarage there are more racist people in both these countries than others. India Get Over it!!!!!!!

  • Pradeep on January 8, 2008, 5:16 GMT

    I am not sure how these Kesavans write critics without proper analysis. Unfortunately, Mr.Kesavan wants to prove himself to be a non-racist. Definitely, Harbhajan is innocent and even if we he had said those words, they are not meant to be racist, Indians use such words when on mischeif or common jokes. If Australians took it serious, understandable because of difference in cultures, but these so called Indian columnists and media should convey the message in a right manner. Please do good to cricket and to the relations of coutries and humans. Not only goodness to self and popularity

  • Farhan Arif - Sydney on January 8, 2008, 4:35 GMT

    I will try my best to do an unbiased fact-sheet here. These are some of my thoughts as well.

    1. Aussies have been known to dish out stuff that the rest of the world found very offensive earlier in history. Even in the modern era when racism became a crime, most of the time it was on the field and that is where it always stayed. Australian, South African, English, Pakistani, Indian, SriLankan, West Indian, you name it. Everyone sledges, and everyone says rude words on the field to unnerve the opposition. It should just stay on the field.

    2. In India's case, the BCCI, the team and players did something terrible when Australia was playing India in india last. They did not punish the racist offenders. They hardly took any actions required of them as a responsible cricket body.

    3. The only way the Australians could respond was to either do the same including racism from the crowd etc and by players, or by officially trying to punish the Indian cricketers as soon as they offended again. That is exactly what they did, but I think in the absence of real proof, it should just have been a warning to "Bhajji" and the tour could have moved on with a smile.

    4. People can say the Aussies were not graceful in victory and did not console or shake hands with the opponents, but they also have to see it was not a normal game of cricket. Tempers were high in both camps, and that showed in the end.

    5. I think India will not win the appeal just because they are the cash register of cricket, they might win it because there is not sufficient proof that harbhajan said those words. In that case, both the teams should be handed warnings for future games and told to behave etc.

    6. We must also understand that most outsiders will be on India's side as they are the lesser side of the two.

    7. I personally did not see anything wrong with the Aussie way of playing the game, except when Pup stood his ground after edging to first slip, but that again was only in this game under the present heated up circumstances.

    8. Harsha Bhogle's call to ban sledging is as stupid as the ban on bullying in primary schools. You can make such rules, but still people need to know how to tackle situations. They are not all going to be detected by the governing bodies always. It would mean every day, a cricketer would break a rule of cricket, and only one in ten will be caught doing it, and proven. Its better to sledge, enjoy, and keeping in mind respect and culture, say little things, but there is no place for racism in cricket. especially by cricketers, who are the role models of kids today.

    9. The anti-aussie version: Aussies have done this for decades. Why then, when someone else did it, they took it to the authorities, when no one has done it before?

    My Answer: They would not have, but in India's case, they had horrible crowd and player behaviour go unpunished earlier, and that was what has caused this "dobbing in".

  • Bhushan on January 8, 2008, 4:10 GMT

    We cannot take history into accont as the aussie claim. This is because there has been no complaints from Slater or Aussie Team during the ODI series. Or if we decide to account for that, we will have to take into picture entire history of sledging of different international teams by current australian team during their tenture in international cricket. While Match Referee had shown urgency in case of Harbhajan to complete the process within 36 hrs as it amounted to racism charges, he has not shown same urgency in case of Brad Hogg. This clearly shows he lacks understanding of different cultures. In India, charge on Brad Hogg would be more ofensive than one on Harbhajan.

  • Sekhar on January 8, 2008, 4:07 GMT

    Actually, there is no shiftiness in Mr. Chauhan's explanation of the use of the word 'monkey'. Steve Waugh himself has said that the meaning is different in different cultures and I quote

    'At the centre of the controversy is the alleged use of the word 'monkey' which, if Harbhajan did say it, is both puerile and stupid after he was warned during the last one-day series. Clearly this can be viewed as racist but many on the sub-continent also see it as their way of 'taking the mickey',' said Waugh.

    Clearly, trying to cover up the difference of the meaning in the different cultures is just as bad.

    Taking into note the circumstance, the intelligence of the person committing the crime, I agree with Steve Waugh more than your explanation.

    Thanks.

  • Bhushan on January 8, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    Lets assume for a second that Harbhajan did say what he has been accused of saying and same is true with Brad. Reading by what Steve Waugh said, it is pretty much part of the aussie culture to sledge. So there was definitely something with instigated Harbhajan to say what he said. Another point to understand is racism does not exist in India. Calling somebody monkey is more directed towards the person's apperance than his skin-color or race. In the same way saying somebody bastard is much more offensive in Southern part of India where Anil stays. So it is more of cultural misunderstanding which needs to be explained to both sides. However there is no such excuse availabel to Ricky Ponting or Mike Proctor. Being a captain, Ricky should have consulted this with CA. Same is true for Mike, as he has claimed to know racism by virtue of being South African. South African, Aussi and Indian cultures differ and Mike had to take all of them into consideration before ruling.

  • Emperor of Pellucidar on January 8, 2008, 3:31 GMT

    Resolution scenario:

    Harbhajan: Sorry if you felt that anything I said out there was racsist. You fellows had been giving us stick for a while and I just wanted to give it back to you guys a bit.

    Symons: Thanks for that. Sorry if I overreacted a bit. Its the different cultures and the heat of the battle I guess. I suppose we should have a bit thicker skin after all the stick we have dished out over the years.

    Harbhajan: Lets put it all behind us, issue a statement to the press to get them off our back and grab a bite to eat.

    Symons: You said it curry muncher.

    Harbhajan: Glad you agree monkey man.

    ** Both leave slapping each other of the back and laughing at the stupidity of it all **

  • VC on January 8, 2008, 3:26 GMT

    Winning is Everything in the part of world I live in. Dear Indians (BTW I am of Indian descent too), don't be sore losers. Yes, there was unfair umpiring. But take it up with ICC. As far as Harbhajan issue is concerned, respect authority (in this case match referee), right or wrong. If you want to appeal, go ahead. But don't threaten to pull away from the series. India has only one sport that they are remotely good at. Other countries have plenty of other games and they can do away with Cricket. Follow the process, not emotions. Good luck with the next match. I hope we all get to watch it. If not, well I have a thousand other quality sports to watch here in US. What do you have?

  • Darryl M on January 8, 2008, 3:18 GMT

    THIS NEWS JUST IN. The Harbhajan appeal has been heard. India’s protest has been upheld.

    Symonds admitted publicly that he should have been out at 30 on his way to 162 in Australia's first innings, and Australia won by 122 runs. This is a difference of 130 runs. Therefore the SCG Test has been awarded to India by 8 runs.

  • Gavin on January 8, 2008, 3:12 GMT

    Two things

    Firstly i don't really see how the 'monkey' remark is specifically racially related. Fact is, he looks like a monkey, not because he has a darker skin tone (not even black) but because with his ridiculous hair and unfashionable placement of zinc, he actually looks like that. So to me, whether he said the word 'monkey' or not, i fail to see how you can conclusively say he meant it in a racist way. Would the same go if someone called Gilly an elephant?!

    My second issue is to do with Ponting. He MUST either stand down or be removed of captaincy. The main backing point for my thoughts was shown during the first Australian innings when Ricky Ponting was given not-out when clearly edging, fair enough he didnt walk but when he was given out LBW ~40 runs later having edged onto his pad, meaning it was an incorrect decision (Karma??), he proceeded to walk into the rooms and throw his bat down in disgust.

    Hardly a role model I would want my kids to see. Hussy gets my vote.

  • Rhett on January 8, 2008, 3:11 GMT

    Three points.

    1. Every team has there fair share of bad decisions. Deal with it. It was not umpiring that one Australia the game.

    2. Racism and sledging are not the same thing. Racism is unaccebtable anywhere. The fact that Indian officials tried to deny it happened on our recent tour of india was despicable. I can understand wanting to protect your team-mates, but if an Australian player was found to have used racist taunts, that player would at least have the dignity to show remorse. To my eyes, I though I saw bhahji trying to apologise on the field, so obviously he did use a racist slur.

    3. If anyone's leadership should be called into question it is the quality of those in charge of the indian team. There response to a tough loss has been appaling. When australia copped some bad decisions in the 2005 ashes series, they copped it on the chin. Indian officials (and a few players) need to grow up.

  • Nik on January 8, 2008, 3:05 GMT

    From Prem Panicker on www.rediff.com Why should Ricky Ponting not be banned, for a period of five Tests, for unfair practices that contravene the spirit of cricket?

    Think back to September 2003, and the Pakistan-Bangladesh series. Then Pakistan captain Rashid Latif was docked for claiming a catch, when the ball had touched the ground. He was suspended for five games -- effectively missing the entire one day series between the two sides.

    On that occasion, the match referee while handing out his sentence said: "As captain a lot of responsibility falls of Rashid Latif and he committed a serious offence by claiming that (unfair) catch which constitutes unfair play and a level-three offence of ICC [Images] code of conduct (offensive and penalties). Therefore, the Pakistani

  • ANILBAWA on January 8, 2008, 2:59 GMT

    Solving the problem of racism is of prime importance. I think that the words being used by players on the field reflect their cultural views. It is alleged that Harbhajan Singh has called Andrew Symonds monkey. Now it is a known fact that monkey is the originator of mankind and everyone has some sort of linkage to the monkeys. Indians know their linage and have no problems with the word monkey. On the other hand Brad Hogg is alleged to have used the word Bastard. It is also a known fact that most of the Australians do not know their origins or in true sense are bastards and that’s what reflects in their game. I would advice both the teams to interchange the words and let’s call Indians Monkey and Australians Bastards

  • John Alexander on January 8, 2008, 2:58 GMT

    Robert Benchley has been reported as saying, “The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him.” Ah, but what if there's no real certainty as to precisely what it was that he said?

  • saif on January 8, 2008, 2:30 GMT

    as usual India is just being what they are WINERS. They lost the test because they are choakers, as simple as it is. They didnt complain when Ponting got a horrible decision or when their pathetic umpires backed their team up in their Home series before ( Kumble;s 10 wickets..what a great show of patriotism). Harbhajan made a bad comment and got adequately punished. AS SIMPLE AS THAT. To boycott a tour because some1 guilty got punished shows what Indian Cricket teams are. WINERS, PATHETIC LIKE ANY LOSERS

  • Davo on January 8, 2008, 2:04 GMT

    I agree with the idea of yellow/red cards being issued on field by officials. But to introduce something like that would surely open even more doors to controversy. It's so dissapointing that it seems to have to come to this. Definately doesn't set a good example for youngsters. Sorry the Indians got the rough end of the pineapple on most (but not all) of the poor umpiring decisions. It's a test of character on how one responds to these decisions and I personally feel the Indians have failed this test. With Harbhajan being charged with racism, we in the public don't know what evidence was presented to Mike Procter. Most people on this site seem to think the verdict was reached solely on the australians word. What about tendulkar? Perhaps he gave some damning evidence also?

  • maddy on January 8, 2008, 2:03 GMT

    Doing anything(even loosing the spirit) to win the game is not new with the aussies!

    This is just another deed of childish and negative mentality after the infamous underarm from chappell and racisim from lehmann

  • Tiger on January 8, 2008, 1:59 GMT

    This whole affair started when Indian authorities completely denied that "Monkey" chants were made by spectators in Mumbai when the television evidence clearly shows that it was. Harbajhan was also implicated in these chants but the Australians graciously chose to ignore that. but when he did it again that was enough. He had his warning so he must take the punishment.

  • Kabali on January 8, 2008, 1:48 GMT

    I am an India and I have been following Cricket since 1979, so let us get that out of the way before anyone heaps the "traitor" tag for my comment.

    Indians (both the players and the fans) are sore losers. That's it. I am no fan of the Aussies or Ponting, in particular, but Symonds is a decent guy. Harbhajan is no angel. His antics, his temper and his lack of sophistication on or off the field is well-know. So, please... let us not pretend that Indians are innocents, with all the hoopla going around. There are much more important things in this Cricket-mad country to worry about and this is what is shaking the nation now. Shame! Bad umpiring or not, let us not forget that these no-talent bunch could not last 72 overs in just over 2 sessions and they want to distract their incompetence with this pathetic act of defiance, in the guise of solidarity.

  • Julian Smith on January 8, 2008, 1:35 GMT

    Australia has taken down the game of Cricket from being a gentleman's game to a menial level. They can no longer call themselves Champions because to be a Champion, you need to play like a Champion. Honesty, Integrity, right spirit all counts into making a gentleman. None of the Australian cricketers have any of these qualities.

    Australia cannot ban the Zimbabwe tour when they themselves behave similar to Mugabe's regime in International Cricket.

  • Justin on January 8, 2008, 1:21 GMT

    As an Australian I am sick of the crap dished out to the Australian team and the Australian people by small minded, jealous cricket fans and administrators from India and to a lesser extent other countries For too long now, we have been made to barrack for the opposition just so that the game of cricket can be viewed as a sporting contest. Well I for one now hope that India is beaten by at least an innings in the next two tests, thrashed in the one dayers and then NEVER invited back. The BCCI thinks because a lot of money comes from India that it should control the game of cricket. Let them play against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they will never be the worlds best team with their current set up. Play by the rules and play hard or just go home, we have no time for weak people in this country.

  • Dave on January 8, 2008, 1:13 GMT

    Two things Firstly instead of the weak ICC sorting out the issue between Symonds & Harbajan, if the three match ban is lifted that's fine. Next time Harbajan calls Symonds a "monkey" or something to that effect then it should be open slather and Symonds can give Harbajan he's own form of justice on the field. Your all whinging now then how would it look in front of millions of TV viewers if Symonds was to smash Harbajan's head into the pitch several times. Not a good look. So if the ICC hasn't got the balls to sort it out then it will turn into a school yard fight & I would back Symonds against any Indians !!. Secondly, while yes the umpiring was very poor and India did get ripped off & more than likely would have won this test match. But just remember the best umpire in world cricket is an aussie and he is in South Africa at the moment. Because of all the cheating paki & indian umpires over the years neutral umpire are now required. So what goes around comes around. !!!!!

  • TonyP on January 8, 2008, 1:11 GMT

    I just read a post asserting that the Harbhajan case was fraudulent. There is simply no way Harbhajan can NOT have known that the term 'monkey' is considered racist particularly when applied to the person of Andrew Symonds. It was in the match reports, there was a BCCI investigation, it was in the media. I do not believe Harbhajan is that stupid or ignorant.

    He used the word, and he must live by the consequences of that ill-advised action.

    The Indians have right of appeal, which they should exercise. But when arbitration is done, whatever the final decision is: it MUST be accepted. To do otherwise is to lose any claim to honour.

  • dave on January 8, 2008, 0:18 GMT

    hmm.... nice to know that there are balanced views running around...

    Firstly: Its OK for india to complain about umpiring now - but for how long was it known that any touring team in IND/PAK would struggle for an LBW decision in their favour and how much has it improved worldwide since the elite panel was set up ?

    Secondly: Racism is defined not by what the person who says it thinks but by what is resonable TO ALL. If i called an indian by a derogarory term that indians think is racist - would you accept my explaination that "it doesnt matter because its not racist in my country"? OF COURSE NOT!

    Aussies may be credited as masters of sledging but we can never hope to compete in the Pantheon of double standards with certain sectors of the cricketing community.

    I hate to think that the game has come to this - I support Australia and am appalled by some things that happen however i admit they do happen and trust the admin staff to sort it out - time for the BCCI to do the same

  • Jujman on January 8, 2008, 0:15 GMT

    India can avoid a 4-0 whitewash by going home. Or it can show true grit & character by winning a remaining test against all odds. We know how history is likely to veiw both actions. C'mon India you have the chance to write history tomorrow. DONT RUN AWAY!

  • Mel on January 7, 2008, 23:55 GMT

    (3) While BATTING, AUSTRALIAN players will wait for the ON-FIELD UMPIRE decisions only (even if the catch goes to the FIFTH SLIP as the ball might not have touched the bat). Each AUSTRALIAN batsman has to be out FOUR TIMES (minimum) before he can return to the pavilion. In case of THE CRICKETER WITH INTEGRITY, this can be higher.

    (4) UMPIRES should consider a huge bonus if an AUSTRALIAN player scores a century. Any wrong decisions can be ignored as they will be paid huge bonus and will receive the backing of the AUSTRALIAN team and board.

    (5) All AUSTRALIAN players are eligible to keep commenting about all players on the field and the OPPONENT TEAM should never comment as they will be spoiling the spirit of the AUSTRALIAN team. Any comments made in any other language are to be considered as RACIALISM only.

  • Vijay on January 7, 2008, 23:53 GMT

    I just saw the replays of the blatant umpiring fumbles which almost always seem to be in favor of the Australian team.

    Now I understand how Australia always "wins" its matches. Australian players are non-ethical, unspirited, unsportsman like in their behaviour. If it was up to me, I would request Indian team to return back to my homeland. It is Australia which has shown how poor and unsporting the team and the people of Australia are. I would never again watch any games where Australians are playing. Shame on Australian players and the country which tolerates such behaviour.

  • Mel on January 7, 2008, 23:53 GMT

    After watching the test match, I feel some rules have to be incorporated by ICC to give the other teams a perfect clarification

    (1) Ricky Ponting – (THE TRULY GENUINE CRICKETER OF THE CRICKET ERA AND WHOSE INTEGRITY SHOULD NOT BE DOUBTED) should be considered as theFOURTH UMPIRE. As per the new rules, FOURTH UMPIRE decision is final and will over ride any decisions taken by any other umpires. ON-FIELD umpires can seek the assistance of RICKY PONTING even if he is not on the field. This rule is to be made, so that every team should understand the importance of the FOURTH UMPIRE.

    (2) While AUSTRALIAN TEAM is bowling, If the ball flies anywhere close to the AUSTRALIAN FIELDER(WITHIN 5 metre distance), the batsman is to be consideredOUT irrelevant of whether the catch was taken cleanly or grassed. Any decision for further clarification should be seeked from the FOURTH UMPIRE. This is made to ensure that the cricket is played with SPORTIVE SPIRIT by all the teams.

  • salman on January 7, 2008, 23:26 GMT

    Being a pakistani fan, i still have sympathy with india because not only were they robbed of a test draw or win but were also unjustly accused. Why wouldn't symonds reveal what he said?. I think no man would utter anything good from his mouth after hearing swear words.

  • david on January 7, 2008, 23:23 GMT

    perhaps someone can shed some lightning on whether harbhajan was provoked or not? I think australia has gone too far this time. "What goes on the field stays on the field" Just my 2 cents

  • Peter on January 7, 2008, 22:46 GMT

    I don't blame the Indians for wanting to abandon the tour. I'd be afraid to face Shaun Tait at the Wacca too.

  • Muthu on January 7, 2008, 22:25 GMT

    Captain has to set an example. If a captain tries to cheat he should be punished more because is misleading the team. Ponting tried to cheat once by claiming a catch when he grounded the ball and then cheated by saying Clarke caught the ball fairly. There was a similar event whic happened between in Sept 2003. The ICC match referee Mike Procter had banned Pakistani captain Rashid Latif for five one-day internationals by for unfair play during the third and final cricket Test against Bangladesh in Multan on Sept 2003. Latif claimed a catch on the third day of the third Test against Bangladesh in Multan but television replays showed he dropped the ball while tumbling on the ground. Procters comment ``As captain a lot of responsibility falls on Rashid Latif and he committed a serious offence by claiming that (unfair) catch which constitutes unfair play and a level-three offence of ICC code of conduct (offensive and penalties)". Doesnt this hold good now for Ponting?

  • ravi shankar vattikuti on January 7, 2008, 22:24 GMT

    Thanks to Mr.ponting ! he has defamed the GentleMen's game one more time. he along with his team have made the Gentlemen's game as the AbusingMan's game. And its disgracefull that all their sickening acts go unnoticed by the ICC and only noticed when agaist australia. If the same thing goes on i think i will certainly stop watching the game as the spirit of the game is being uprooted. Lets save the game and i think its time to reconcile for the australian team. Winning does not only matter but the way we matters as well. Hope the Australian team realises this and my strong sympath to the Indian team and thanks to the match refree for banning Harbhajan from 3 tests with no proper evidence and i think its the best justice that a suffered party can get. Hail the game of cricket ! And Hail the Blind ICC and Hail the Australian Team for their sick attitude towards game.

  • Neeraj on January 7, 2008, 22:00 GMT

    Well said, Giovanny. I remember an incident of protest in China, when all shoe making factory worker basically start making only one shoe out of the pair, which mean they are working and still making the management felt the heat of their protest. When management realize, they made other pair of shoe. NO LOSS, WITH EVERYTHING GAINED. India should do the same, play normal, don't put any effort to field, don't claim any catches or appeal for anything let oz walk if they want to, while batting, bat normally, don't want even on boundary catches and let see how OZ and umpire feel about it. I think all is under the Cricketing Boundary.. isn't that what Gilly said/meant..

  • crengan on January 7, 2008, 21:53 GMT

    The argument that Indians (esp, the crowds) were racist against Symonds is totally nonsensical. I doubt the crowds that made monkey chants had anything to do with racism in their minds. They wouldve no idea that he is of a different origin. It is true that the biased crowd hated Symonds, as did most of India, because he tormented India in almost every match he played ! I do agree that the term monkey is never used in a racist way in India. There are caste and class based issues in India but racism is not quite the same as perceived in Western nations. This could've easily happened in a local match in India if someone had his hair and face made the same way and hated as much by a biased crowd for cricketing reasons as well. If this was the background for pulling up Harbajan, then it is unfortunate and opportinistic

  • varun on January 7, 2008, 21:51 GMT

    maybe harbhajan was calling him a "cheeky" monkey?

  • C M Loganathan on January 7, 2008, 21:48 GMT

    The Adminstrators need to got their act together. Time and again we see Sub continent countries upping the ante over the actions of the Adminstrators which time and again seems to be biased against the sub continent teams and players (I will raise two instances i.e. when Sachin's ban for ball tampering and the Oval Test involving Pakistan). The issue in Sydney match was two fold - number one the sub standard umpiring. One would normally say that the umpires had a bad test but Steve Buckor is a repeat offender against India (count the number of dodgy decisions he has handed over to Sachin in the past). Biased umpires should have no place in the game. The second issue is involving Harbajan. If he had said the 'monkey' word I think the ban is appropriate. If it cannot be proved conclusively he should get the benefit of the doubt. This is the basis of any judicial process. It is high time that the Administrators stop applying double standards against teams / players from the sub continent.

  • Amit C. on January 7, 2008, 21:42 GMT

    Bogus green: That's what the pride of Australian cricket ought to be called given that Ponting turned this match into a bar brawl and shagged, mutilated, and ground into dust the baggy green. Maybe India ought to have a bouncer on field in Perth, just to throw out miscreants like him.

    I admit if Harbhajan did it then he was wrong to call Symonds a monkey given his racial background. But don't you think it would be a great honor for Symonds if all monkeys all over the world were named Symonds? Hmmm, something to ponder over.

  • Fiona McGrath on January 7, 2008, 21:19 GMT

    The Australian cricket team are bad losers and irritating winners. My first thought when I read about the allegations against Harbhajan was that Ponting can't cope being his bunny, which was the most satisfying part of the test. As for the umpires - when will they reach a point where they do not crumble under the pressures of umpiring in Australia? It's also interesting that Australia rarely face these kind of appalling decisions.

  • Anuj on January 7, 2008, 21:14 GMT

    Indian fans demand the following: 1. Bucknor never umpires against in India. He has done this in the past to India and it cannot be any coincidence this time as well. How can he be natural to India? 2. Since there is no evidence of racial abuse by Bhajji- Ponting, Symonds etc., Umpires and Match Referee should be investigated on the verdict and should be punished if found guilty as a civil offence. 3. Cases of dissent should be done against Ponting (for talking back to umpire after given out), Hogg(abusing Kumble), Symonds and Bhajji (for fighting against each other). 4. Bajji’s ban should be revoked and if he is punished the Symonds should be as well. 5. ICC should acknowledge its faulty laws. They should agree to ensure 100% fair decisions on and off field. Agree to use tech. for decisions and have records of all conversations on fields which should be made public when demanded. If these are not met tour be called off. India and other countries should break from ICC.

  • Pakistani on January 7, 2008, 21:06 GMT

    First, I would like to praise the conduct of Team India and especially The captain,Kumble:a tough competitor who never lets go.He did exactly what was expected of him and upheld the spirit of the game with his team.I agree with Kumble that only one team was playing in the spirit of the game. The attitude of Australian team and mainly the captain,Ponting was that of Thugs and Gangsters.They behaved like street kids who will do anything to keep things under control in their zone.I am really disgusted with Ponting's behaviour.He's only showed his true colours.All the umpires were biased including the third umpire.I couldnt believe it that even the commentators on sky reckoned that Symonds was out.How on earth can someone not see the foot in air on the TV.Its only proved that he was working for Australian team. Harbhajan's ban is the most infuriating.It's unwise and provocative decision. India has to take a solid stance on this issue or they run the risk of being dubbed Racist forever.

  • Neil Sen on January 7, 2008, 20:58 GMT

    Why is Brad Hogg's case being heard on 13th and 14th Dec when Harbajhan's was heard in two days? Is that so he can play in the next test match but ensure Harbajhan wont or if he does he will be under too much pressure?

  • prash on January 7, 2008, 20:38 GMT

    the problem starts when you start classifying abuse. racial,personal,national,religious,etc. in '91 omar henry would have been delighted if someone abused his country!! abuse is abuse. period.no punishment for calling my wife a slut and a lengthy ban for calling me a monkey. seems hair-brained to me. the question is not whether harbhajan really called symonds a monkey. it is whether there is any credible evidence to show that he did so. channel 9's sensitive cameras picked up nothing. sachin told that bhajji didn't. umpires too. we have only the words of the likes of clarke,symonds and punter -all seriously requiring a dose of "integrity" going by their attitude during just this test. listening to them was mike procter who had banned rashid latif for 5 matches for appealing for an illegal catch back in 2003 but did nothing in punter's case now. how much more compromised can a hearing be? beat it "mites." mukul you could have raised such issues instead of singing homilies.

  • fairplay on January 7, 2008, 19:36 GMT

    BCCI has taken a good stand on the Harbhajan affair. But in order to show clearly the issues at stake for the whole world to see and claim leadership, they should not pull out of the Perth test. Instead they should agree to play it on two conditions: (i) Stump microphones are left on continuously so the Indian Management can monitor the racist attitudes of its players, the provocation to them and and response of its players (ii) Every decision of Steve Bucknor is checked against TV replays using technology. This will mean that match days will have be longer and play may need to start early on every day. These conditions will ensure that BCCI stands firmly behind fair play and is not a bully. If Ricky Ponting and the Australian team can accept those conditions then they will have made amends for the travesty of the Sydney Test.If they do not then of course, India are justified in pulling out since enough safeguards to prevent known issues from arising have not been given.

  • fairplay on January 7, 2008, 19:33 GMT

    BCCI has taken a good stand on the Harbhajan affair. But in order to show clearly the issues at stake for the whole world to see and claim leadership, they should not pull out of the Perth test. Instead they should agree to play it on two conditions: (i) Stump microphones are left on continuously so the Indian Management can monitor the racist attitudes of its players, the provocation to them and and response of its players (ii) Every decision of Steve Bucknor is checked against TV replays using technology. This will mean that match days will have be longer and play may need to start early on every day. These conditions will ensure that BCCI stands firmly behind fair play and is not a bully. If Ricky Ponting and the Australian team can accept those conditions then they will have made amends for the travesty of the Sydney Test.If they do not then of course, India are justified in pulling out since enough safeguards to prevent known issues from arising have not been given.

  • Harshal1 on January 7, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    All all their nonsensical verbage about honesty and integrity, Ponting, Clarke and Gilchrist all claimed false catches in the second innings.

    They don't understand the concept of Honesty and Integrity...it is not about walking when your team is 300 for 4 or not claiming a grassed catch when opposition is 120/5...it is about upholding these principles ALL THE TIME. Is was absolutely predictable that Aussies WILL CHEAT when things do not go their way or when the opposition is having them in trouble. Why should anyone believe Ponting or Symonds or Gilchrist or Clarke any more than Harbhajan when the first four absolutely cheated like common thiefs in this match.

  • Germanic on January 7, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    It seems the myth of Harbhajan being a 'repeat offender' is being circulated by the Aussie media alone and that is why some irate Aussies on this forum seem to be chewing it like a bubble gum.

    Let me tell you Aussies...stop reading people like Lalor and Conn in 'The Australian' their rabid journalism is making you blind to the facts and feeding you on a rich diet of daily baseless rumours.

  • Dion on January 7, 2008, 18:02 GMT

    The Indian Cricket side needs to gain control of there emotions and focus on the series at hand. Yes any one that understands the game of cricket and viewed the Sydney test match would have to agree that the Indians were unlucky and drew the short straw on most of the controversial decisions. However cricket has been played along time and this is nothing new to the game, with every side feeling aggrieved at times. The question must be asked is the real emotion from the Indian side due to the fact that series can not now be won by them. All is not lost, take a leaf out of Ponting's 2005 ashes side. After years of dominance the aussies were brought back to earth and as a Australian supporter I viewed this series and saw our players react emotionally to losing. But they had the opportunity to go away from that to plan, prepare and work on how they want to play their cricket. The result is superb cricket and success. Perhaps this can be considered by the other nations including India.

  • fuss on January 7, 2008, 17:03 GMT

    As far as sledging is concerned Australia is doing to India what India would do to any touring country (look at some of the incidents in recently concluded series between India and Pakistan). So its not fair for India to cry about game not being played in the right spirit. Umpires made mistakes and India lost the test, thats all it is. However, racism charges against bhaji should be reviewed, he doesnt seem like the guy who would use racial slurs.

  • Jeffrey Jameson on January 7, 2008, 17:01 GMT

    There are two issues. Firstly, the umpiring was poor and distorted the result of the match. It was not a great "game" of cricket as some have claimed but an appalling travesty of a contest spoilt by the umpires' decisions and by one team's determination to win at all cost. (I admit there were some outstanding individual performances.) It is also disconcerting that, over many years, Australia has always seemed to benefit most from these dubious decisions. Does Australia manage to pressurize the umpires as well as the opposing team? Finally, on this point, whatever "agreement" Ponting and Kumble had was clearly not honored. Secondly, if Harbajan did direct the word "monkey" at a mixed race player, then he has shown a deplorable lack of awareness of what the modern world is like. And that is a great pity especially since youngsters all over the world idolize the players. Unfortunately, the youngsters are being taught that abusing one's opponent is an acceptable part of the game.

  • Don on January 7, 2008, 16:54 GMT

    There are two issues - and I reckon the racism charge is the lesser one. There it is only a question of whether the player used racist comments or not. The match referee decided he did - and unless an appeal is held the player should be suspended. The bigger question is the way the umpires took India's chances of drawing the test away. In all honesty India had little chance of actually winning - but they a had a more then fair chance of going to Perth only 1:0 down. The umpiring was terrible. Even as an Aussie - I would hold that the match result is cancelled due to umpiring that was simply not cricket. I don't think the Australian team is to blame - just as I don't think there was anything wrong with the Indian team behaviour. It's up to the umpires to make the right calls - and if they got a few wrong, well that's cricket too. But getting so many wrong - and too many on one side - that's just not sport.

  • Giovanny on January 7, 2008, 13:01 GMT

    India should not abandon the tour since that would cause Cricket Australia to claim damages related compensation. The Indian team should just take the field, if batting just hit-wicket and get out and if fielding just allow the Aussies to hit boundaries. This would register a protest as well as ensure that Cricket Australia receives no reward for the Aussie teams abysmal and pathetic sportsmanship. This way the Indian's can let Bucknor and Benson continue on too. Aussies want to win at all costs, let 'em.

  • Anil on January 7, 2008, 12:46 GMT

    Being called a Monkey is for sure a racial abuse - for the monkey, that is!!

  • Gunnerjim on January 7, 2008, 12:30 GMT

    I think it is right that he should be banned if that is what he said. If the same was done in England there would be an uproar - there would be bans, made to apologise, fines etc. Okay, the Australians are no angels but it is still a racist remark that was made. It is totally unacceptable, and to go back on the decision would be cowardly. If the tour is cancelled - so be it, Australia win the series anyhow. We do not need double standards.

  • mervyn on January 7, 2008, 12:29 GMT

    Well let’s face it Ponting cannot face Harbhajan on cricket field, Harbhajan got him out 3 times in row and that hurts Ponting ego badly. So the only way to get rid Harbhajan and out of the way is to cook up this story. They tried this with Yuvraj Singh but they did not succeed.

  • Jayan on January 7, 2008, 12:18 GMT

    I think maybe too many Indian supporters and players are getting caught up in this. Yes, some decisons went against you - it happens all the time and always will. Get over it. Australia won because they attacked on the last day and India defended. Quit complaining and give those Aussies a defeat finally.

  • Akinzo on January 7, 2008, 11:28 GMT

    Racial abuse is intolerable not only in sport but in society.If Harbajan is guilty,he should be given a proper ban by the BCCI. Whatever the judgement, the spirit of the game is tainted.As a fan from Nigeria, where cricket is not so popular,it pains me that the reasons I love the sport are being destroyed.India and Australia are both guilty. The Indians are not exactly saints and I am not sure if the roles were reversed what Kumble would have said (on poor umpiring).The decisions were poor, there is no need to keep dwelling on them, it just cheapens my view of the injustice.Dont forget even with the poor decisions, India still had a strong chance of drawing the game and threw it away.It would sounded better saying,"amidst the injustice we still fought and laid down our bodies for a draw." As for Steve Bucknor, not much needs to be added...

  • Geoff on January 7, 2008, 10:17 GMT

    I'm Australian, originally grew up in South Africa, and know a little bit about racism.

    Frankly, Ponting and his guys are a bunch of tossers. If Australia had been subject to all these shocking Umpiring decisions while on tour to India, there would have been no end of whingeing and whining here. It's idiotic to say that these things "even themselves out". They don't. It's impossible for touring teams to get a fair go here.

    Yes, the Australian team won yesterday's test, but as Peter Roebuck so eloquently put it, any neutral or even vaguely non-rabidly-nationalistic observer was left with a sour taste.

    Not only is Symonds a bully and a cheat, but Adam Gilchrist has lost a LOT of thinking fans in this country. I would say that Ponting, Symonds, Gilchrist, Hayden and Clarke all lost a lot of respect from true fans after this Test.

    I was disgusted by their behaviour. Shame! India deserved at least a draw, and Indians SHOULD be outraged.

  • brian on January 7, 2008, 10:13 GMT

    Interesting comments from all as per usual on this blog, to all Indian fans don't you get tired of the victim mentality. The world's highest paid, most adored and indulged cricket team with not very flash results. There always seems to be an undercurrent of implied racism towards all Australian players and supporters in these blog comments,bad news I'm not from convict stock, I went to University(a good one, full of Indian students here for an education)and I can deal with Australia losing.But seriously the Australian's whinge when losers? When was that? Oh yeah 17 tests ago. Why not face the fact your desire to see inflated averages repeated outside India is always destined to disappointment, because your team are lauded, indulged and adored for even ordinary performances by you the fans. You constantly look for excuses, I mean 20 years to win a series in England against England? Face it Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar are adored in this country because they are great, Harbejan not so.

  • Amazed on January 7, 2008, 9:58 GMT

    Wow, I was so not aware that India and her cricketers are SO much better than everyone else, they are so fair and have such fantastic sportsmanship, they would never nick the ball to the keeper and stand their ground, or claim a catch. Also her supporters never chant 'Aussie sucks' and make references to monkeys from the stands when representing themselves to the world on TV. I'm also thankful for them educating me that calling someone a monkey in india isn't an insult, i shall call the next indian i see one. Or perhaps not, I'm not so sure that indian ppl are so stupid as to think that it wouldn't be insulting, unless i'm mistaken in that. Are they that stupid? Do you honestly believe that the world will believe it's okay to call Indian ppl monkeys? Or is it okay from one dark skin to another? Think of something that is okay to call white ppl in indian standards and fill us in will ya. Make it up as you go along guys, whatever helps you sleep. I don't hear Tandulkar talking like you.

  • Dennis (NZ) on January 7, 2008, 9:52 GMT

    I bring to notice of all the readers and contributors of this blog that the umpires reported the dissent of Yuvraj but that of Ponting during first innings went unnoticed. Another howler from the umpires.

  • john on January 7, 2008, 9:47 GMT

    Clearly India is playing a very immature "victim" game here.If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.I blame the tour managers and the captain Kumble.If you are going to call someone a monkey,be a man and own up to what you are trying to say and accept the consequences.To,Kumble.You are supposed to be the leader.Pull him aside,ask him if he is guilty,go to the opposition dressing room and finish it there and then and get on with the game.No wonder they are the great pretenders of world cricket!After what touring teams have had to put up with on tours to India over the years and in particular the appalling behaviour toward Andrew Symonds on the last tour this bleating now on their part beggars belief!It's called been a bad loser.END OF STORY!!!!!!

  • Monkey see Monkey do on January 7, 2008, 9:45 GMT

    Just to clarify those saying that there was no evidence of what Harbajan said and that no more than a few aussies heard it. The press have reported that during the hearing Harbajahan revised his statement and admitted he used the word monkey, the Indian management botched things by arguing that it was not an insult or derogatory term. Obviously those from India management who handled things must be the selectors of India as you have to scratch your head and wonder how they can mess the hearing and selection process up, perhaps Jaffers father is a selector

  • Andrew on January 7, 2008, 9:36 GMT

    Does anyone remember when Glen McGrath had called Sanath Jayasuriya a "black monkey" and when, I think, Darryl Lehmann had called the Sri Lankans on whole, "black c's"? Did anyone take these clear racial comments into such consideration? I think not, neither Glen McGrath or Darryl Lehmann had gotten any suspension or match ban of any sort. I find this argument very one-sided, it seems that Australia's higher ranking in cricket, has lead them to be the "Gods" of cricket, and allowing them to empower any decision in their favour.

  • disgusted on January 7, 2008, 9:35 GMT

    to udai bhan if the aussie cannot be believed nor can the Indians either.

    so is the indian team working on the premise of deny deny deny until caught with a photo or an audio tape before they have to admit they where wrong. I won't say lied because .....does wankede stadium mean anything to you when crowd was caught by means of photo racialy taunting roy. this isn't about the team it is about an individual heritage and if he has witnesses and harby doesn't then harby has to prove he didn't say it. to which he found guilty now have the courage to accept the punnishment and get on with it. maybe the only way he will learn to reign in his temper.

    tendulkar should be his example and his behaviour is why he is cherrished around the world and especially in australia. lara also was admired in australia by the aussie cricketers and public. you ask any aussie who has played the game the players they admire most and they will add these two players amongst them. no 1 for warne.

  • Shiven on January 7, 2008, 9:29 GMT

    Has anyone considered the fact that Harbhajan has numerously taken Ponting's wicket? And that this was outlined in a newspaper article recently, about the irony of it? Could it be that Ponting is taking all of this into consideration and wanting to lower Harbhajan's spirit when playing against the Aussies in the future, regardless of which way this accusation will go?

  • Allan on January 7, 2008, 9:27 GMT

    We the supporters bankroll cricket. Malcolm Speed should poll supporters regarding the introduction of technology such as hot spots on pads and bats, snicko etc. Use all technology available immediately and automatically. We are sick and tired of hearing players whinging about decisions. They and their councils continually vote out technology but they use it to whinge about decisions. Malcolm forget the 7/5 ratio of cricket councils needed to pass electronic and other aids. Poll the givers in cricket, the supporters, not the players, the receivers.

  • Fair Play on January 7, 2008, 9:25 GMT

    Australia versus India Second Test Sydney: What should have been a superb showpiece for the game of cricket has been marred by lack of sportsmanship in the heat of “battle” (and I’m not pointing the finger at anyone). What does “sportsmanship” mean in any case? When I was growing up, it used to mean playing to the best of your ability to win the game, but to always recognise and respect your opponent. I don’t have any problems with playing the game aggressively or without compromise, but that should not include language (whether “racist” or otherwise – and there are always two sides to any story) or physical behaviour that would not be accepted in society e.g. on prime time television. If players need to resort to these tactics to put off the opposition, then as far as I am concerned they have no place representing their country. Tennis is played to a similar degree of intensity, but players aren’t allowed to get away with what some cricketers do. Cricket needs to borrow some ideas from soccer / football and even tennis. Since the players’ own code of conduct appears to have been thrown out the window i.e. “what happens on the field stays on the field etc...” I would first of all lay down a simple law: if the game is suitable for “Prime Time” television for all to see, any language must be “G rated”. I don’t want my 6 year old to think it is acceptable to use expletive filled language or physical intimidation playing what should be after all a game (and I understand professional sportsmen do it for a living, but that is no excuse). I would look at a three-pronged approach: 1. Yellow / Red cards (just think – a whole new category of stats for cricket!) 2. Turn up the stump microphones 3. Use technology to help the umpires. I think two on field umpires and a third umpire or match referee should be sufficient (is it four officials at present?) I say open up the game and “turn up the stump microphones” – let the public hear everything that goes on near the wicket square. If something is said by players that would need censorship for broadcasting, then if necessary invoke a system of appropriate penalties. It would also surely embarrass some of the players to think about what they are saying (I’ve got nothing against banter or quips). I would introduce a yellow / red card system for offences. I would have the on field umpires in control of issuing these cards, which would reinforce their authority on the game. I would introduce more technology to assist the umpires in making crucial decisions as well as referrals to a third umpire / official, e.g. in adjudicating close to the wicket catches as well as LBW decisions. I would, however, also restrict the number of slow action replays made available to the third umpire: if he can’t make a decision based on viewing each appropriate angle once, then the wicket appeal is too close to call and must go in favour of the batsman. This would reduce some of time taken in this process. At all times the on field umpire’s decision should be final and not debated, including whether he chooses to refer to the third official or not (his performance will be reviewed after the match in any case). Anyone who disagrees with making use of technology in helping umpires make crucial decisions really can have nothing to complain about when decisions go the wrong way. Umpires are only human after all. A Yellow Card could involve a penalty to the offending player(s) e.g. of a “sin bin” (expulsion from the field of play) for 25 overs or whatever remains of a particular innings, and may be preceded by an umpire’s warning. This would result in e.g. the fielding side having only 10 men for 25 overs. If the offender happens to be a batsman, he could for example be compulsorily demoted to number 11, after first being sent off. This could be analogous to a situation where a batsman “retires hurt” but later returns to complete his innings (in the Yellow Card case, he would have to wait until he is last in to bat). In the case of a bowler, he might be not allowed to bowl for the next 25 overs (or until end of innings). A Yellow Card could be used for an offence such as dissent at umpires’ decisions, persistent overzealous appealing for wickets that any reasonable person watching the game could see would clearly be given “not out”, offensive behaviour which may include verbal abuse or physical intimidation, potential professional fowls e.g. ball tampering, pitch stomping / damage, deliberate slow play, persistent bowling of wides etc. A repeat offence (second Yellow or straight Red Card if “really serious”) in the same game could result in an automatic minimum suspension of the next Test Match or 3 ODIs. This could be reviewed by a committee appointed by the ICC after a match and the penalty increased if the offence is deemed appropriately serious enough. This committee could also review umpires’ performances after every match. Whatever is done, I think the ICC, players and their associations need to have a good close look at the game of cricket and themselves, and think about why the game is played. This is not about Australia versus India, but about cricket

  • Dsig3 on January 7, 2008, 9:18 GMT

    Greetings India

    I really hope this tour is called off. I cant stand the wingeing anymore. Anil Kumble has always been one of my favorite cricketers and I dont really have any problem with any in the Indian team, including Harbhajan. The problem lies with India's media and crickerting public. How can champions develop from this culture? The Indian team will never reach the cricketing success of Australia because of their "victim" mentality

    Before they arrived they were hailed as rightfull successors to Australia's dominance.

    After Melbourne the were derided as has-beens and under acheivers who should all be sacked.

    After Sydney they are the shining light of fair cricket in the evil that is Australia.

  • Dennis (NZ) on January 7, 2008, 9:15 GMT

    What I found most amusing was Ponting bragging about his integrity. Actions speak louder than words. What does he have to say about Symonds confessing that he snicked the ball and that he should have been out, yet he should stood his ground. Another glaring example of Clark standing his ground after slicing the ball and caught in the slips.

  • Ben on January 7, 2008, 9:13 GMT

    Surely given the lack of hard facts which have publically surfaced, a definitive conclusion cannot be made one way or the other regarding Harbhajan. Until definitive contrary evidence does surface, Proctor's conclusion, absent the emotion that comes from passionately supporting ones team, must be respected. Are conspiracy theorists seriously suggesting that Proctor is either part of an elaborate plot against the Indian team or has buckled against a swathe of pressure by the Australians? If so, these are damning accusations, which if unsubstantiated, reveal more about the accusers than the accused.

  • Alan on January 7, 2008, 9:04 GMT

    As usual the comments from the Indian supporters are ill-informed and a total over-reaction to the situation. Read about what was explained to the players before the first ball was bowled in the first test. Any racist comments must be reported by the captains. How dare any Indians question the Australian way of playing the game. Remember, it is just a game. Australians have always played to win. Not to lose, like the Indian batsmen did on day five. Go ahead and take your bat and ball and go home. You will lose all credibility and have no-one else to blame but yourselves. Steve Waugh and all other Aussie cricketers who have visited India make sure they spend time with kids and donate more than just their time. Indian players think that they are above the game and more important than the game. You want to know why there are no Indian umpires on the elite panel. Indian players only take from the game and give very little back. None want to spend time becoming an umpire.

  • dc on January 7, 2008, 9:02 GMT

    8 NEW RULES IN ICC !!!!!!!!!!!!! ================================= (1) Ricky Ponting – (THE TRULY GENUINE CRICKETER OF THE CRICKET ERA AND WHOSE INTEGRITY SHOULD NOT BE DOUBTED ) should be considered as the FOURTH UMPIRE. As per the new rules, FOURTH UMPIRE decision is final and will over ride any decisions taken by any other umpires. ON-FIELD umpires can seek the assistance of RICKY PONTING even if he is not on the field. This rule is to be made, so that every team should understand the importance of the FOURTH UMPIRE.

    (2) While AUSTRALIAN TEAM is bowling, If the ball flies anywhere close to the AUSTRALIAN FIELDER(WITHIN 5 metre distance), the batsman is to be considered OUT irrelevant of whether the catch was taken cleanly or grassed. Any decision for further clarification should be seeked from the FOURTH UMPIRE. This is made to ensure that the cricket is played with SPORTIVE SPIRIT by all the teams.

  • Owen Williams on January 7, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    I'd like Symonds to front up and say what Harbajan really said. Ponting is hardly the most credible person on a cricket field. Claimed catches, constant appealling, claiming to have the moral highground. All a good day's work for Ponting and his team in the name of setting new records and being the best. Not only in Ozi,but right around the world, people of colour are subjected to racism on a day to day basis. Yet, the ozis claim the moral highground. Strange world we live in. Muri was targeted. Where ? Oz (Can a black man be the highest wicket taker in the world ?) On the positive side though, not all ozis are as arrogant as this bunch of oz cricketers. Cheers Warnie........

  • srikanthan on January 7, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    One is not convinced that Bhajji did not use the term ,Monkey

    The entire nation is going mad based on his assertion that he did not utter thise words. Considering his track record and level of maturity, I am not so confident.

    We should not lose our dignity as a nation for the sake of a misguided cricketer. While the westerners have been the worst racists in the past, they are trying to correct themselves. we have started racism in our little corner. we have always our own brand of racism, Brahmin, Thakurs , etc

    We need to move forward and backward.

    Oneis not all convinced that we are driving an entire nation to insanity with all this,rhetoric

    If Bhajji did utter those words, he needs to be punished. I agree with Mukul kesavan that the Indian team lacks conviction. we need not argue the racist angle of Monkey . If in the first place , Bhajji had not uttered the word Monkey where is the need to justify/rationalise the word monkey as being non racist

    Australians are not angels. That does not give us right to misbehave

    If the match had been drawn, may be reaction would not have been blown out of proportion

  • jineesh C Jacob on January 7, 2008, 8:42 GMT

    Every one is talking about harbajan.What about ponting's attitude towards ganguly's dismissal.He was in terrible form throughout the game.Ponting knows that thing.Then he appealed that he is out.Is this a sports man spirit??????????I am an india fan also was respecting the the way australian playing....and their spirit...But after ponting's attitude against ganguly's dismisal disppointed me lot....Is this a right spirit??India is like a team,can't play well in preasue...that is truth...In that condition higher order wickets are very very important...In that situation ganguly's wicket is very important that he is playing in terrible confident in that preasure situation..ordinarily it is against way of playing of india...so ganguly's wicket was very important in that preasurised situation...So what ponting did is not from great cricketter..

  • M V Chilukuri on January 7, 2008, 8:14 GMT

    I think Mukul Wasan better teach his lessons to Mumbaikars or Marathas. He doesn't under stand the game of cricket harldy enough! Had he palyed the game at gully level, he would have known it's not chess game to play in quite. Finally, who is he to tell what ICC or somebody should do it Bhajji. I also, repeat the same as in the case of Sreeshanth. Let him ask Ranatunga or Brian Lara about Aussies, what kind of people were Aussies! I think Mukul Wasnik should remember he is writer and limit his boundary to facts and statistics, but not airing what ICC should do on Bhajji case. Let him write on Symonds attitude if he is Indian!

  • khan on January 7, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    "Aussies always make complaint on the opponent player's on whom they think to be a threat this time bhajji has been zeroed".With the support of the umpires on both batting and fielding they can beat any team they are playing mind games against any team this time india. they couldn't diagonise the loss to india in the t20 matches thats y they decided to defeat india to a white wash in this ongoing series.

  • NJ on January 7, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    Nice article Mukul. Straighforward which may not go well with Indian hearts. Anyways, thats your view. Second test in Sydney, looked like a conspiracy against the India Team. If that is so then it is more scarier if let off than letting off people alleged to have sounded racist remarks. Individual criminals can be corrected, it is difficult to clean up organized crime.

  • Garvit on January 7, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    I quite disagree with you there Mukul. The truth is that Monkey IS NOT RACIAL in anyway in India. This is a classic case of culture clash. Just to keep the 'white' man's (sorry not being racist) interpretation of racism, does it mean that we change our vocabulary. Michael Clark is called 'pup' by his teammates. Try calling that to somebody in any Indian vernacular. Further it is pretty obvious that Symonds provoked him (so he says so himself), why would Bhajji, happily batting on 50 something even want to start soemthing like that. Granted that they have a history...too bad...calling somebody a monkey is simply not racist no matter what, and besides racism in India is casteism, as opposed to colorism in their eyes, and Bhajji and Symonds are pretty much the same shade. Simply, if Bhajji's case is not repealed no matter if he said it or not, the Indian team should suspend the series and RIGHTLY SO.

  • Mark on January 7, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    The past is the past admittadely racism was acceptable in Australians past , however in modern day Australia not only is it totally unacceptable, its acutally illegal both under commonweath and state laws. If a sport person make a racist comment towards an opponent that person should be heavily penalised. Using an opponents nationality as an excuse for such behaviour is childish and naive. The neutral ICC match refree found Singh guilty as charged. If India want to appeal this fair enough but they should continue the tour and let due process take its course.Hopefully the facts will decide the outcome of this, I would hate to see the BCCI use its political power to unfairly influence the outcome .

  • rk on January 7, 2008, 7:37 GMT

    However, I don't see how Harbhajan can be convicted despite no audio or visual evidence. And I don't think the Australian players qualify as unbiased witnesses. What happened to innocent until proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt?

    I think the only way to settle these petty issues is to keep it on the field. Sledging is and always will be a part of cricket, or any sport for that matter. If Ponting keeps running to the umpires everytime someone hurts his or one of his players feelings, we are in serious trouble.

  • Sridhar on January 7, 2008, 7:31 GMT

    There are many in these columns who do not understand what is a gentlemans game. Sometimes you play hard but loose a game that acceptable. Harbhajan plays hard cricket like the Aussies and can bowl good deliveries to take their wickets. That is why they want him out of the game. By doing this they bring the morale of the team and ultimately win the game. The ICC and he umpires are blind. The 11 players represent INDIA as a nation, and that is what is at stake today. This verdict of ICC is baseless, no proof, no nothing. They take some peoples words and come to conclusions. Australia has clearly lost Sydney test. The test should be cancelled and Indian team to return back. ICC should take back what they say. Ponting, Symonds and Clarke should apologise to the Indian team and the entire cricketing fraternity for bringing disrepute to this great game of cricket. They are cry babies. ICC should ban Ponting, Clarke and Symonds for not walking, when they knew they were out.

  • Chris on January 7, 2008, 7:22 GMT

    I hate to say this, because it's certainly not the case with the majority of Indian people I know, who are generally fantastic people, but the vast majority of replys in this thread are defending the Indian team India certainly got the worst of the umpiring in this test, and it probably cost them the test. That's a shame but it doesn't detract from the fact that what Harbhajan said was racist. It seems anyone who expresses a contrary point of view is branded a racist here. It's quite sad really.

  • Anonymous 101 on January 7, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    Poor Harbhajan Singh! I think he did the right thing,and there's nothing wrong in saying "monkey" to someone when they've given you much more rude comments. All they were doing was giving Australia something which they needed back, and surely you can now see what they have given back in return! I reckon that India should not cmplete the test series in Perth, and go back India,and take a break. They've gone through enough already

  • jaytara on January 7, 2008, 7:17 GMT

    Why is the owner of this blog letting Aussies post willy-nilly with their sanctimonious tripe while at the same time shutting out Indian responses. i will shout it from the rooftops "Aussies are RACISTS through and through", it permeates their society completely and it is sad that the Symonds of this world put up with the c**p, just wait till the guy gets a littel older and is no longer able to deliver he will be stomped on by all his old mytes=== haydos punter pup the lot

  • Sridhar on January 7, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    Readers to also recollect the verdict given by ICC and Co., on Inzamam. The then umpire Mr. Hair was no different, claiming that the Pak team members had tampered the ball without any evidence. This is a similar case. In all such cases there will not be any evidence. But ICC will conduct hearings and bring out cases against individuals and harras them so that their morale is brought down. This is how the game of cricket is being played these days. I think it is high time the Asian countries boycott ICC as a whole.

  • M.R.Sampath on January 7, 2008, 7:13 GMT

    It is a matter of shame a small alteraction between Bhajji and Symonds is blown out of proportion giving a racism twist. It is customary that in the heat of things some exchanges are made. Nothing could have been more grave and concerning than what happened btween Mac Grath and Sarwan. At the end of athe day a hand shake and pleasantries should end the bad blood. Instead the wily Ponting, a poor loser, who has a score to settle being dubbed as Bhajji's bunny has chosen to smear a 'racism' colour to whatever Bhajji ahd uttered in the heat of things as this sensitive term 'racism', he knows would draw the maximum symmpathy from the adjudicator/s that may be.

    It is unfortunat that a small alterction between Bhajji and Symonds is blown out of proportion giving a'racism' twist. The rivalry and some hot exhanges are quite common at the heat of the moments. Nothing could have been worse than that happened btween Mac Grath and Sarwan. At the end of the day they should be resolved with a hand shake and moved on. Ricky Ponting is spiteful and he has a personal score to settle with Bhajji particularly being dubbed as Bhajji's bunny. He is a poor looser and a very vily fox who chose to smear the colour of racism to 'whtever Bhajji said' as he knows attribution to the most sensitive issue of 'racism' would draw the best of sympathies from the adjudicator/s .

  • Sridhar on January 7, 2008, 7:11 GMT

    Readers of this column first need to understand that the Aussies play many tricks. They cant accept loosing and especially against the Asians. This is very clear. Second we have seen many instances wherein the ICC appointed umpires are onsided and biased. This tamasha has been increasing after India became T20 world champions. Remember those old days when the aussies called Rumesh Ratnayake a chunker, because they could not face his pace. Then came the Muralidharans controversy when the Aussies couldnt face the DOOSRA and said he is throwing. Anywhere the Australians have a problem with anyone either bowling or batting, they will fix him in some controversy and spoil the individuals concentration. This is how they play their game. The current controversy is an advanced version of sledging. They want to bring the morale of this Indian Team, so that they can always occupy the top slot and dictate terms. Not to mention BCCI is a wholetime chamcha of ICC. This is utter non-sense.

  • Shane on January 7, 2008, 6:59 GMT

    Lets be clear, neither is Symonds or Harbhajan innocent. There definitely were some words said and it is safe to assume that neither of them said anything we would want our grandmums to hear! There is no conclusive proof that Harbhajan said anything racist. Proctor should have pulled the two of them up and handed out a punishment to both of them to set an example. Instead by just pulling up one side, it indicates that the team that can put forward a strong enough arguement or show will get things their way. This is not about Australia or India, its about discpline. The ICC or his representative the match referee should have pulled up both individuals from each team and stated clearly that they were out of hand, while no punishment can be given for the alleged racist comment, punishment can be given for their on field behaviour. Thereby showing both teams that these antics won't be tolerated.

  • M.R.Sampath on January 7, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    It is a matter of shame that much ado about a small alteraction between Bhajji and

    It is unfortunat that a small alterction between Bhajji and Symonds is blown out of proportion giving a'racism' twist. The rivalry and some hot exhanges are quite common at the heat of the moments. Nothing could have been worse than that happened btween Mac Grath and Sarwan. At the end of the day they should be resolved with a hand shake and moved on. Ricky Ponting is spiteful and he has a personal score to settle with Bhajji particularly being dubbed as Bhajji's bunny. He is a poor looser and a very vily fox who chose to smear the colour of racism to 'whtever Bhajji said' as he knows attribution to the most sensitive issue of 'racism' would draw the best of sympathies from the adjudicator/s .

  • Raj on January 7, 2008, 6:56 GMT

    Placing this brou-ha-ha in the context of the match is the only clear way to get perspective: (a) there were umpiring errors galore. (b) Ponting and the Aussies were desperately keen to keep their win-streak going. When the Aussies realized that the umpires were deaf, dumb and blind, their excessive appealing strategy was formed and worked to perfection. On the other side the Indians had a mounting sense of loss and injustice. So if symonds said something nasty in English and Harbhajan said something equal in Punjabi/Hindi, they cancel each other out, and are famously in the spirit of the game as it is played nowadays.

    Possibly a word like 'teri maa ki' sounds like 'monkey' as has been reported in the Ausssie press; but thinking of draining a whole career on unfounded allegations or one word appears childish ('kill him because he called me his uncle!') and playing into the Aussies' new winning strategy in cricket - so that a win streak is kept alive by hook or by crook!

  • Raj on January 7, 2008, 6:53 GMT

    Placing this brou-ha-ha in the context of the match is the only clear way to get perspective: (a) there were umpiring errors galore. (b) Ponting and the Aussies were desperately keen to keep their win-streak going. When the Aussies realized that the umpires were deaf, dumb and blind, their excessive appealing strategy was formed and worked to perfection. On the other side the Indians had a mounting sense of loss and injustice. So if symonds said something nasty in English and Harbhajan said something equal in Punjabi/Hindi, they cancel each other out, and are famously in the spirit of the game as it is played nowadays.

    Possibly a word like 'teri maa ki' sounds like 'monkey' as has been reported in the Ausssie press; but thinking of draining a whole career on unfounded allegations or one word appears childish ('kill him because he called me his uncle!') and playing into the Aussies' new winning strategy in cricket - so that a win streak is kept alive by hook or by crook!

  • Gaurav on January 7, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    Have no dispute that racism should be punished but a couple of things to note though. First there has to be evidence which is indisputable before passing sentence. Second in a game with varied cultures, languages and in crunch situations heightened emotions, there has to be a clear understanding on what constitutes racism. Even if we ignore the assertion that Ponting is running scared of Harbhajan, there isn't enough to ban him with the evidence available.

  • smale25 on January 7, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    As for Andrew Symonds, his complaint is far from a DISINTERESTED plea for justice from an aggrieved racial victim. He has a specific illegitimate interest in this complaint, in that it helps him to contribute to his team's win in this crucial match, through extraneous events which were set off by his misuse of the bylaws of ICC that have been provided only for prevention of LEGITIMATE cases of racial abuse. Thus his motive is questionable, and he definitely needs to explain why his actions do not amount to match fixing.

  • inderjit on January 7, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    Look at the replay of Dravid getting out. Now Ponting says he believes in the integrity of game and he also said they will fair on the ground about catches held and about nicks caught behind and blah blah. Then why they appealed so louder when they knew Dravid is not out(along with Gilchrist). Why he and Symond didnt left the crease when they knew they were out. And of course when some journlist in press confrence asked ponting a question (which infact was true) he couldnt hold up his own and instead told the journlist not to stand up for asking question. Infact truth is always bitter. And now with these simple conclusions we can say that Aussies(australian Cricket team)are shameless, dishonest and they can do any derogatory act to ruin the spirit of cricket.

  • edwin mendonca on January 7, 2008, 6:28 GMT

    My friend gerard and some others The word monkey may not be insulting to some, but if directed badly it is sure to offend many. there are words which has good meaning in one country but insulting and filthy in another country. i know of a word which is an indian common name for females, but it is a filthy word in another language. Aussies may be the masters of sledging but we indians should portray ourselves as gentlemen in a foreign country. Shame on you Harbhajan for bringing bad reputation to our country and to the cricketing world. play like a champ, try and win the remaining matches or atleast draw, come home like champs. Do not be like a wrong carpenter blaming his own tool. if one or two are given bad decisions what are the others doing how many runs the others scored, they could have won the match for us. come on guys we are 11 players and not two.

  • edwin mendonca on January 7, 2008, 5:53 GMT

    Hats off to you Mukul, this should have been done earlier to harbhajan.I think there should be a counselling for harbhajan. he always reacts in an aggressive manner openly. one can easily notice his anger towards his opponents, he reacts immediately. if any indian cricketer wants to learn onfield behaviour, he should learn from sachin tendulkar. being a great cricketer he is a great gentelman, no other cricketer from anywhere in the world was like him. there should be a rule known as red card, and it is high time the umpires use it, no matter a team plays with nine or ten players, if found guilty the umpire should straight away show him the dressing room, as done in football and other sport. otherwise players like harbhajan, sreesanth and others will keep abusing and bring bad reputation. why people blame umpires, just bcause india lost, on how many occasions have any indian player moved without waiting for the umpire to show his finger. come on indian cricket lovers love the sport.

  • srikanthan on January 7, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    New take on Racism

    are following racist

    Turbanator- This is coming out of the fact that he is a sikh You Indian/Australian/Hindu/Muslim/Christian etc becom racist but ... saying he is hindu/Christian/Indian/Australian is not racist-

    The definition is so wide that any criticism can be racist

    We need to have very specific definition and educate people.

    I can't see how Harbhajan would be so knowledgeable that he could make the difference

    He is made a comment withount even realising that the connotations. He just about knows that Symonds does not like it. Monkey is always a liitle more blatant in the minds of people who have knowledge of Darwin;s evolution theory

    Surprise package is the Australioans complaining. They are pathological sledgers and most of it could be construed racist

    Mcgraths and the Lillees, the Chappels have been doing this for years.

    Bastard is almost an endearment in Australia, in India it is one of the most offensive word.

  • Pradeep on January 7, 2008, 5:16 GMT

    Yeah, i think australians are not playing the game instead they are presenting their supremacy in the cricket game. Well the incident against bhajji making racial comments on symmonds is not properly executed. How come the evidences taken from ponting,hayden and clarke are true when not considering the evidence given by sachin tendulkar. The worse thing is they doesn't have any video or audio evidence. Its like australians are controlling ICC rather ICC controlling them. I think these kind of things should be taken into consideration with a view of the value the cricket game has. Its becoming australian type of cricket.

  • Sorab on January 7, 2008, 5:09 GMT

    I agree that if Harbhajan said something racist he should be banned. However, going on present evidence, it seems that Mr. Procter has chosent to take the Aussie word over the Indian word which cannot be called fair in any country. I personally think that Ponting is tired of being "Bhajji's bunny" and wants him out of the series for good

  • Nathan on January 7, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    How is it that almost any sports fan in Europe, Africa, America, Australia etc understands that calling someone of African descent a monkey is racist, and yet no one in India (which I'm led to believe from reading these blogs is a country far more educated, enlightened and generally superior to the nation of convicts that is Australia) is aware of it?! Even if Harbhajan didn't initially know the racial connotations of calling an African person a monkey, he would have been well aware of it following Australia's recent tour of India, and he still chose to use that term. And regarding this rubbish about Australians not being able to take backchat, consider this - sledging and backchat goes on continually in the Australian state cricket competition and there is never an issue with it. So what people are essentially saying is that Australian cricketers can handle tough play when playing for their state, but suddenly cannot handle it once promoted to the national team! Give me a break.

  • Abhay on January 7, 2008, 4:52 GMT

    I think we should realize that cricinfo is basically an english for profit company. There are lot of Indians or subcontinent people but primarilly interested in defending Raj rather than presenting correct facts. Most indians would remember that if they unnecessarily jump up and down or apply paint/cream on their face even there family would immediately call them monkey. Word like monkey politics are not considered racist. I think this mentality of being more english than englishman in so called intelluctual is consiously or unconsiously letting them ignore Chetan Chauhan's comment that monkey is not a racist word. We should also consider if current BCCI mangemnent read Sharad Pawar and company is able to defend the interest of Indian cricket. But all thing said and done it is more time of introspection rather than Aussie bashing as they are doing what they are trained for i.e. is to use all means to keep opposition down.

  • crckt_nut on January 7, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    Hi Mukul,

    Please uphold professional ethics, I cant fathom how you could accuse Ponting tormentor when the matter was sub-judice?

    How could you pass judgement when you don;t know what happened? Why dont/didn't you write about the racial taunt I had to endure as part of the sydney crowd...why don't you write about the fact that one white aussie was ejected for racial vilification?

    Why don't you write about the fact that Steve Bucknor is racially motivated not to refer anything about symonds to third umpire...why don;t you write about the incompetence about the racially biased third umpire?

    Why don't you write about the cheating/lying/arrogant attitude of aussies...if they hate India so much why did all of these arrogant liars beat a hasty path to sign up with IPL?

    Please understand Aussie cricketers are cheats and liars, they claim for catches when none exits (many examples over the years mate)...

    Mukul You are pathetic.

  • crckt_nut on January 7, 2008, 4:39 GMT

    Hi There,

    Let's not be dillusional about australian attitudes...They are arrogant and arrogant. All aussie crickters are liars and cheats they claim catch when none exist hence we should not take into consideration what liars tell...since symonds and Harbhajan's bunny are liars why did anyone take into account liars version of events. Rashit latiff was penalised for wrongly claiming a catch, why aren;t hussey, clarke being penalised for the same? as captain of these liars harbhajan's bunny should have been banned for atleast 10 matches...and Hogg should be banned for life for calling the chastity of Indian cricketers mothers into question.

    the fact is these arrogant aussies are alienating the most powerful cricketing nation on this planet by their arrogant attitude I expect these arrogant aussies to have a difficult time next time they tour India.

  • Gandhigiri on January 7, 2008, 4:38 GMT

    Indian Team should start Gandhigiri with Aussie Team of Ricky Pointing. Indian Team should send flowers to Aussies at the end of the day for Sledging .Aussies want to win the game with hook or crook and play for records. even if it means loosing spirit of game. WIth this kind of attitude cricket and fans will loose not Ricky Pointing. We have seen they have applied same tactics to all the teams.

  • David on January 7, 2008, 4:34 GMT

    Just a few comments. I am Australian but live overseas. - Australians sledge hard but there has been a serious effort in Australia to remove racist remarks from sport. This not just cricket but other sports especially AFL football - Darren Lehman was suspended for 5 one day games for making a racist comment (two words) after getting out against Sri Lanka. He gave a written and verbal apology to the Sri Lankans which was accepted - Symonds was abused by the crowd in India racially. The BCCI choose to ignore this. When South Africa was abused by crowd members in Perth, CA worked hard to remove these people (note they were actually South Africans not Australians). - I agree that India got screwed by the umpires and feel bad for them If the Indians believe that there is other forms of sledging which "cross the line" then this should be looked at. As for gamemanship, Ganguly regually turned up late to the toss intentionally to annoy Steve Waugh. I feel for Kumble, he seems a decent man

  • richard on January 7, 2008, 4:22 GMT

    I always thought that the word "monkey" was a noun... and had nothing to do with a person's race. If one cannot say the word "monkey" as it is now deemed racist, then I suspect that one cannot say the word donkey or cow either for fear of racially offending any person who may have such features or characteristics. The aussies like to give stick, but whinge when it's given back. Grow up and quit this useless chatter!

  • Ezra on January 7, 2008, 4:17 GMT

    It is amazing how some countries (australia & england) change the rules so they can dominate cricket. How mnu aussies or english get called for throwing. That is how they combat the best spinner in the world , murali. They used the bouncer rule to bring the wi back to the pack. now because ponting has been out to bhaji (and cheaply) they have found a way to get at him. people have been called worse by the aussies ... and i dont think that this excelent series should be watered down based on the report of a few aussies when no one else heard. think about it, if they steer the ball to the keeper and stand their ground, where is their integrity. I am a west indian. black like symonds. a monkey just means that u aint a pretty sight ... and i agree.

  • sanath on January 7, 2008, 4:17 GMT

    indian cricket team should realize that they cant play crickt outside india

  • RK on January 7, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    When Yuvaraj protests bad umpiring decision, he is reported for violating ICC code of conduct. When Ponting does the same, he is not even reported by the umpires.

    When Murali Karthik didn't walk during a ODI in India, Ponting protests it. When Symonds does the same, Ponting supports it.

    When Australians does it, it is called sledging. When Indians do the same thing, it is racial abuse.

    What a cricket?

  • selva on January 7, 2008, 3:59 GMT

    Note to Mukul Kesavan: Please bring my previous comment to the attention of the Indian team. They seem to be clueless about how to handle the situation. Anil Kumble, the captain, is a very respectable person. But, it appears that he has unwittingly played into the hands of the Australian team, the Australian media and the umpires/match referee. Kumble has said that 'only one team was playing with the spirit of the game, that's all I can say'. This position, though very romantic, only deals in generalities and leaves the Australians scot free, whereas the dangerous situation that the Indians are in, demands a response based on point-by-point specifics. In particular, this holier-than-thou approach of the Indian team would not prevent the three match ban on Harbhajan Singh. Also, it is useless for Singh to deny having called Symonds a monkey. Apparently, being an honest sardar, he didn't feel like denying the truth in the match referee's hearing, and copped a three match ban. The proper response is for him to have refused to testify whether he called Symonds a monkey or not. He needed to have stated the fact that the match referee and the umpires had been guilty of professional incompetence, at the very least, through out the match, and hence he could not be assured of a fair, disinterested and unprejudiced hearing. Instead, he made several changes to his version of the story. It appears that this is exactly the type of slip-ups the Australians and the match referee are looking for to establish, fradulently, that Singh is guilty of racial abuse. If so, surely, after extracting Singh's confession, they would not be interested in hearing the Indian team's protestations of innocence. The Manager, Chetan Chauhan, was supposed to have said that, during the hearing, the match referee did not listen to any of the arguments made by the Indian side. The Indian team needs to realize that emotional pleas would not get them anywhere. They need to deal with the situation in a clever manner. I would be writing more comments of this incident over the course of the next few days. Please send them to the Indian team. If worst comes to worst, they should at least have the morale to fight hard during the remaining two tests.

  • John Alexander on January 7, 2008, 3:53 GMT

    I'm not sure if we'll ever know with real certainty whether or not Harbhajan called Symonds a "monkey". But supposing that he did, then I'm at a loss as to why match referee Proctor thinks that this ugly sledge is somehow racist. Childish and rude and witless, yes. But racist? How? Offhand the only person I can recall being likened to a monkey is George W. Bush. And whether or not you agree that there is a likeness, it's obvious that the point was to imply that Bush is a dill. Obviously racism is irrelevant to the Bush/monkey comparison, so how can it be relevant to any Symonds/monkey comparison? I happen to be Australian, so I think I'd be aware of any racist slur associated with being called a monkey in this country. But I could be wrong. In which case surely someone in blogland can explain the monkey/racist connection? If not, has Proctor made a monkey out of himself?

  • Zeeshan Syed on January 7, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    (contd..)

    We are not traversing a one way road wherein anything said by an Indian is racist while Australians are lauded as culturally rich when they show their skills in letting off expletives. I can accept Harbhajan being banned for what he said but then the Australian team should also be banned for their verbal behaviour.

  • 16inarow on January 7, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    The agreement between the two teams was that the word 'monkey' would not be used and it was, that is why it was not left on the field and also the fact that Singh is a serial offender.

    Forget the poor decisions, which went both ways, Australians are winners and world champions at contact and physical/mental sports. India had enough chances to win 20 test matches and still couldn't do it on a wicket which suited them. Australia fought and then watched Kumble panic and do everything he could not to lose by wide bowling, pathetic negative field placements and time wasting. Once the Australians saw this they went in for the kill.

    Until India and the other cricket nations start believing they can win and going for it from the first ball Australia will continue winning. If they couldn't win in Sydney they are going to get demolished in Perth. Bring on Tait for some rib rattling, leave out Hogg and let our part time spinners in Clarke and Symonds bowl better than India's fulltimers

  • Zeeshan Syed on January 7, 2008, 3:50 GMT

    (contd..)

    We are not traversing a one way road wherein anything said by an Indian is racist while Australians are lauded as culturally rich when they show their skills in letting off expletives. I can accept Harbhajan being banned for what he said but then the Australian team should also be banned for their verbal behaviour.

  • Zeeshan Syed on January 7, 2008, 3:48 GMT

    Australian media has been talking about this thing of 'cultural differences'. I want to question the approach of the match referee in declaring Harbhajan guilty. Did he take into account the cultural differences the media is talking about, though the cultural differences the media is portraying is as if the Indians come from an uncivilised culture. If the subcontinental teams of the past eras and the present had reported the Australians everytime they utter the word ’bastard’, how would the ICC react. To be a bastard must be a privilege for an Australian but it is highly offensive to a subcontinental people to be called illegal offsprings of unmarried parents. In India, calling someone a monkey can pass off as a remark in jest, but calling someone a bastard would never. This is what I thought were cultural differences.

    (contd...)

  • singh on January 7, 2008, 3:46 GMT

    for the person who said that indians need to get into the twenty first century

    You need to get out of australia and look that there are other people living in the world. Rules should be fare for everyone thats all we want. Be it harbhajan symonds hussey ganguly. PUNISH THEM ALL or LEAVE THEM ALL. personally i think sledging is bad for cricket. And the way the aussies play the game was clearly highlighted when clarke did not walk on a CATCH. I am not trying to point fingers but save your own house first before throwing rocks at someone. Umpires media and match refrees everyone is against indian whereas they are the one's that are victimized.

  • madhu on January 7, 2008, 3:45 GMT

    This will remain as the best example for "the worst sportmanship displayed by a whole team" - the worst in history of cricket until now!

    And I pity on how these guys roam around tearing their clothes for these praising the white kids for a very little reason.

    Buisiness deals with "CricketAustralia" could make such a post like this happen pretty easily!!!

    If that is so, I pity you sir!!!

  • 16inarow on January 7, 2008, 3:42 GMT

    The agreement between the two teams was that the word 'monkey' would not be used and it was, that is why it was not left on the field and also the fact that Singh is a serial offender.

    Forget the poor decisions, which went both ways, Australians are winners and world champions at contact and physical/mental sports. India had enough chances to win 20 test matches and still couldn't do it on a wicket which suited them. Australia fought and then watched Kumble panic and do everything he could not to lose by wide bowling, pathetic negative field placements and time wasting. Once the Australians saw this they went in for the kill.

    Until India and the other cricket nations start believing they can win and going for it from the first ball Australia will continue winning. If they couldn't win in Sydney they are going to get demolished in Perth. Bring on Tait for some rib rattling, leave out Hogg and let our part time spinners in Clarke and Symonds bowl better than India's fulltimers

  • Prashant on January 7, 2008, 3:31 GMT

    Sledging, both the term and practice, seems to have been an Australian invention. Consequently, Ponting has decided to appoint himself the curator of this artform and feels he has the right to determine whether a specific “sledge” represents gamesmanship, merely good humoured banter or racism. An Australian, slipping in a comment on the field to break the opponents flow of play or concentration is “just how we play- hard & fair” and “within the laws of the game”. But if the roles are reversed and an Australian is subjected to their own ‘gamesmanship’ then that is suddenly unacceptable and baseless accusations are made by the (ironically) self appointed moral police of the game. There has not been racism here. Just some bruised egos. 16 consecutive test wins does not give you the right to bully the rest of the cricketing world. Meanwhile,maybe we’ll hear a remake of Percy Sledge’s 1966 hit When a Man Loves a Woman,that gave rise to this term,in the form of: When Harbhajan Loves Symonds.

  • srikanthan on January 7, 2008, 3:23 GMT

    I think there has been a huge mixing of issues. We are mixing up bad umpiring and resultant loss of the test with the on field fracas. If Harbhajan had made the remarks, he needs to be banned. If one goes through various comments and feedback from the Indian management, they have been harping on lack of evidence. It appears to me that Bhajji made some kind of a remark. While one does feel bad and find that whole thing funny that the complaint comes from a team whose behaviour in the past has been nothing short of atrocious, past mistakes and mistake by one does not justify this behaviour

    Symonds also should be banned for the simple reason that he must have provoked

    As for Hogg, it is very likely that he would have made the remarks attributed to him( bastard)

    If ICC wants to show seriousness, they have to make a example of all these characteres, Bhajji,Symonds and Hogg

    we should keep the umpiring out of this equation. That needs to be addressed seperately.

  • srikanthan on January 7, 2008, 3:23 GMT

    I think there has been a huge mixing of issues. We are mixing up bad umpiring and resultant loss of the test with the on field fracas. If Harbhajan had made the remarks, he needs to be banned. If one goes through various comments and feedback from the Indian management, they have been harping on lack of evidence. It appears to me that Bhajji made some kind of a remark. While one does feel bad and find that whole thing funny that the complaint comes from a team whose behaviour in the past has been nothing short of atrocious, past mistakes and mistake by one does not justify this behaviour

    Symonds also should be banned for the simple reason that he must have provoked

    As for Hogg, it is very likely that he would have made the remarks attributed to him( bastard)

    If ICC wants to show seriousness, they have to make a example of all these characteres, Bhajji,Symonds and Hogg

    we should keep the upiring out of this equation. That needs to be addressed seperately.

  • Arnab on January 7, 2008, 2:03 GMT

    What Aussies call as their very own "Aussie Sledge" is generally known in the outside world as uncouth and uncivilized behaviour on the cricket field. The AUSTRALIANS fail to understand that and deliberately go on pursuing the same behaviour with everyone not understanding their cultural sensitivities. Calling someone a "nigger" ( Aussie cricketer in recent tour of India) or a "Black c**t" (Darren Lemman in 2003) is not friendly banter but rather downright racism of the highest order. These guys have historically got away with it because of their skin color - yes because they are white people and that is how this world is run! We all know how much hatred everyone has for "reverse racism" as practiced in Zimbabwe and South Africa. So Aussies, please do NOT preach Racism to India, one of the most racially tolerant countries in this world.

  • R E SMITH on January 7, 2008, 1:54 GMT

    CALLING A BLACK MAN MONKEY IS RACIST UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!HOWEVER SYMONDS IS ALLOWING HIMSELF TO BE USED AS A PAWN BY PONTING.

  • OnionBag on January 7, 2008, 1:35 GMT

    Unfortunately the voice of a myopic 1 billion people will always be heard louder than that of a few million. This whole affair will change nothing about India's widespread culture of racism toward Africans. The majority's view is taken as fact regardless of the true facts. This blog is evidence enough of that.

  • HC on January 7, 2008, 1:25 GMT

    sometimes when players attitude on the field are questioned (as to their wanting to win a game), the ICC will conduct an investigation as to whether corruption was involved. I think the same should be for all parties involved in a match and not just players.

  • Jameel on January 7, 2008, 1:19 GMT

    Suppose match refrees found no evidence that Bhajji used the racial remarks. I want to ask the ICI what is the punishment for the Austrailian Captain Poning and Andrew Symonds for instigating and falselky accusing Harbajan. By unsettling Harbajan they have changed the outcome of the game. He could have scored his maiden test century and a possible inning defeat for Austrailia. The guilty party (Symonds & Ponting)should be punish severly..............

  • Rahul Bazhrid on January 7, 2008, 1:14 GMT

    What i dont understand in any of the above comments in sayin how is symonds Monkey a racial taunt, when it was clearly used by the Indan crowds to insult symonds, harbhajan as dumb as he may be new this and thought it would not be possible for him to get in trouble for doing so, so you cant compare 1 player to another for who you call a monkey as im sure the rest of the players wernt subject to abuse from crowds, and india need to get over bad decisions, i live in india i love inidia to death but cricket is cricket and you cant blame Australia for bad decisions get on with it, if you have anyone to blame its yourselfs learn to play games for a win not a draw what was the point of going so close when you are already 1-0 down you might of well go for the win and be bowled out in 40 overs then try to play for a draw when you are 1-0 down caus lets face it what hope do we have in perth. oh an harbhajan grow up your disgracing your country

  • Davo on January 7, 2008, 1:12 GMT

    Why is it that all the self righteous (obviously Indian supporters) honestly believe that Aussie cricketers are the only ones in the world that sledge? These supporters seem to somehow know what's been said on the field by all players. Apparently Indian cricketers are squeaky clean when it comes to on field banter. They say the Aussies are the sore losers? With the dodgy umpires decisions, everyone seems to have forgotten Ponting was given out lbw after hitting the cover off the ball with his bat! Not every poor decision went Australia's way, despite apparent views to the contrary. Nothing much was said about Yuvraj Singh staying at the crease after getting an edge behind in the first dig? A batsmen knows when he's edged the ball. Snicko proved it was an edge. What was that about playing in the right spirit? Give us all a break. Man up and accept the Indian team just doesn't have the depth of player talent, nor the ticker to truly mix it with the best. Bring on Tait in Perth

  • Sathya on January 7, 2008, 1:09 GMT

    Travis - you are wrong that the posts woudl be less if India had won the test. The rage is due to bad umpiring decisions and biased players. No one disputes Oz is the best team in the world. Indians are not trying to prove India is the best team in the world, or say that they shoudl ahve won the Sydney the test. The outrage is about organized unfair treatment that has been going on for too long. It was for everyone to see... Our view points may never match, but everyone could tell Oz players can stoop to anylevel to win. Because, they are used to winning and that country does not appreciate losers. They are desperate to keep winning and they woudl go to any lengts. Surely Ponting and Clarke are not in my list to talk to a group of young students. They lack integrity and dignity. They are like what we were when we were 10 years old, fighting for decisions to go in our favour. As we grow old, we need to take responsiblity for our behaviour. Sadly, Ponting and co have not grown up.

  • indian on January 7, 2008, 1:04 GMT

    look at the gestures of auusies when such incedents happens,please note why well playing bats man like harbhan like to involve in such incident.greatest of all"AUUSIES SHOULD LEARN HOW TO DIGEST LOSE"

  • Mike on January 7, 2008, 0:57 GMT

    I am an aussie, and will be the first to say the Indian's had a few crucial calls go against them in the Sydney test. Regardless, from an objective view, BOTH teams have pushed the boundaries in this serious as far as sportsmanship goes. The time wasting attempts (such as 2 RH gloves??? COME ON!) by the Indians on the 5th day aren't mentioned by Indian's who are looking too closely at the Aussie's to notice they're doing the SAME KIND OF THINGS!

    Harbajan got off calling Symonds a monkey last time. He did it again and should get punished. Symonds hasn't been dumb enough to repeat whatever he called Harbarjan in India.

    I think Harbarjan deserves to be suspended, and a point needs to be made for cricket globally. If it were Symonds that stepped out of line, I would be saying the same thing. Racism has no place in sport at all!

    But just quietly, how awesome was it that the AUSSIES WON!!! :) What an intense finish!!! And Poor Kumble...he worked SO HARD at the end!

  • Sathya on January 7, 2008, 0:54 GMT

    What about Glen McGrath calling Sarvan C***-S****er? What about a Srilankan cricker abused by Australian criketer based on race? What about Dean Jones calling Amla a terrorist? Why dont we do a retroactive 'ban-for-life' for these guys and make some adjustments on Glen McGrath's record. People calling for Harbajan's head when there is no proof. it is not as though some one on the field recorded Harbajan's conversations on a mobile phone. Would you believe the words of Ponting and Clarke. Both showed on Sunday they lack integrity... even a 5 year old could see Ponting grassed Dhoni's catch, and he denies it. Even a grand mother coudl see Clarke was well caught at first slip, but he waits for umpire's signal. They both woudl have taken the decisions if it went in their favour (had dhoni given out and Clarker given not out they would have taken those decisions). Are you going to believe their words? If it is a legal battle, their integrity comes into play.

  • Anand on January 7, 2008, 0:53 GMT

    Australians may be bad losers, but unfortunately, Indians are even worse losers. We whine and cringe at Australia's "bullying", and then we righteously defend our players no matter what they seem to do. Double standands, hmm, I think India has a bit of that going on too... India has a long history of racism and intolerance for people differnet to us; I won't even go into the caste system here. Simply because people are "non white" does not automatically exonerate us from bigotry of any form whatsoever. I think we should shut up and turn the mirror towards ourselves. Serious hypocrasy, sadly, I think so...

  • Mark Lister on January 7, 2008, 0:49 GMT

    Its time they sropped playing criicket.

  • Sathya on January 7, 2008, 0:47 GMT

    Pleaer remove this article from the cricfo post. i am apalled Mukul advises Harbajan should go down for ever. On what basis should he go down for ever? This is incredulous. This article appears as though it is written by a close relative of Andrew Symonds, not a journalist. Silly!

  • jaytara on January 7, 2008, 0:20 GMT

    the comments from Aussies like Tova,Luke etc. sound so condescending and downright racist. Yes, absolutely the Aussies are the best cricketers in the world but some of their other sportsmenhave come under the drug use cloud, does cricket have any testing procedures to see if the muscles of the Roys and the Haydoses are natural .

  • Raghu on January 7, 2008, 0:20 GMT

    On Harbhajan’s suspension - I thought the burden of proof is on the people accusing him of racial slur. Going from the reports so far on this case – there is no credible evidence and all of what was presented was based on Symonds account of the incident. This will never stack in the court of law – how can an accuser’s word be taken as the truth. This is despite the fact that Symonds has portrayed no honesty in any dealings till date – both on and off the field. So how can judiciary take his word or for that matter word of nay of his team mates while passing the judgement? It’s jungle law or what!!!

  • Chooka on January 7, 2008, 0:16 GMT

    Back to the point Harbajan found GUILTY with a 3 test match ban rightfully so. Comments about batsmen walking or not but in the spirit of the game if the umpire has any doubt that the batsman is not out then the benefit of doubt has always fallen to the batsman .Interestingly to see that when the final wicket of the Sydney test fell did the batsman walk from the ground after edging to first slip or did he stand his ground while the Australians celebrated, or walk straight from the ground? So with that said umpires have undoubtedly the hardest role in the game. If a bowler makes an error he is no-balled or called for a wide(and there have been plenty of wickets from no balls in the series so far) If a batsman makes an error he misses the ball or mishits the ball which means in most cases it wont cost him or her their wicket. So with that said players make far more mistakes in cricket than what an umpire does, some with simple minds cant get their head around that and look for excuses

  • jaytara on January 7, 2008, 0:12 GMT

    Hey there Tova your words are as loose as Hogg's flapping tongue; what a hypocrite YOU are, coming from acountry which exterminated the aboriginal race in Australia and still treats them like s**t and systematically targets immigrant communities, witness the carnage on the Sydney beaches not so long ago by skinheads bashing up innocent Lebanese

  • errol on January 7, 2008, 0:08 GMT

    I wonder if an Indian bowler who goes in to bat and is called a "bunny" by the Australian fielders could file a report of racial abuse?

  • J on January 7, 2008, 0:08 GMT

    Wow - these forums were flying, with hundreds of comments 10 hours ago, but now that racist-Bajii has been found guilty, baring more than a peep from the one-eyed indian supporters on this forum. Guilt can be quietening.

  • Lindommer on January 7, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    The continued insistence the term "monkey" isn't offensive in India is disingenuous in the extreme: if they aren't aware it's offensive to those of West Indian or African background let me state quite clearly it is. Many Indians are fans of English soccer and have seen the disgraceful behaviour meted out to John Barnes and other black players when bananas were thrown on to the pitch.

    On the other hand, the terms "elephant jockey" and "curry muncher" aren't offensive in Australia, but every Australian is quite aware they are very offensive to those with an Indian subcontinental background.

    To continue to harp on about the non-offensiveness of the term 'monkey" is offensive in the extreme.

  • Kish Kumar on January 6, 2008, 23:52 GMT

    I have been a victim of a few racism in this country and I know what racism is. I can't understand why "Monkey" is a racist word. Why not some of our west Indian readers come forward and say their opinions? Are Australians saying that calling Ponting a "Monkey" is ok? If symonds don't like being called "Monkey", maybe he should give us a list of words we are not allowed to say. If everybody gives the disallowed words, we might not have any cricket. Symonds was the main sledger in India and that is why he had to cope that hostile crowd behaviour. Players like Viv.Richards,Lara,Ambrose were well respected by the Indian crowd. They were more black than this Symonds. Symonds have a different look about him too. Maybe that was the reason. Having said that, I don't condone that crowd behaviour in Mumbai. "Turbanator" is more racist remark than "Monkey". Maybe "monkey" is more racist in Europian soccer. But, Are'nt we playing cricket in India and Australia? Itis not racist word in Ind or Aus.

  • Shawry on January 6, 2008, 23:44 GMT

    None of the Australians have ever claimed they don't like banter on the field. Nor have they shied away from it. They were, however, under strict instructions to report any "banter" banter that was racially based, which they have done. India would have done the same, had it occurred. More likely is that the Aussies are so much better at the on field banter that they don't need to resort to racism.

    As for the catch, the teams agreed that instead of going to the third umpire the final decision would rest with the fielding captain. A similar catch made by an Indian fielder would have relied on Kumble's judgement. The umpire respected this agreement, asked Ponting (who incidentally was in a better position to see the catch than any other person or camera) who indicated he believed it was out. A view supported by the footage (with a little doubt perhaps).

  • Naeem on January 6, 2008, 23:41 GMT

    Sorry Guys, but there was no racisn shown by Bhaji. Bhaji is an Indian and he cannot stoop so low. On the other hand Australians are not only known as a racist country but practise racism quiet openly. Racism or not,Ponting is Bhajis bunny and of course this was his way of getting back at Bhaiji. Andrew Symonds- oh what a cry baby. I am glad he is not going to Pakistan, he is afraid of his life!! Yeah there are bigger monkeys in Pak so Symmonds is very afraid. The game of cricket became a farce beacuse of very poor umpiring and these were not human mistakes.Bucknor and bensen should nevr umpire again. They are both incompetent. I wonder why does any team tour Australia? The spirirt of the game is nevr shown by the host or their Skipper. By the way , I am not an Indian. I am from Pak.

  • Naeem on January 6, 2008, 23:41 GMT

    Sorry Guys, but there was no racisn shown by Bhaji. Bhaji is an Indian and he cannot stoop so low. On the other hand Australians are not only known as a racist country but practise racism quiet openly. Racism or not,Ponting is Bhajis bunny and of course this was his way of getting back at Bhaiji. Andrew Symonds- oh what a cry baby. I am glad he is not going to Pakistan, he is afraid of his life!! Yeah there are bigger monkeys in Pak so Symmonds is very afraid. The game of cricket became a farce beacuse of very poor umpiring and these were not human mistakes.Bucknor and bensen should nevr umpire again. They are both incompetent. I wonder why does any team tour Australia? The spirirt of the game is nevr shown by the host or their Skipper. By the way , I am not an Indian. I am from Pak.

  • venky on January 6, 2008, 23:07 GMT

    well, Every one knew australia has been ruling the cricket heroes in all the fields. they know what to do to a player who is performing well, how to control them and break their confidence and interest. which can be seen in almost every close match. why do they dont do on team which is like kenya. If it is act of racism then it will be too hard to digest. but actions done by australians always favour them, every need to learn how they are able to win in every game( cant be always good performance from palyer) then why didnt they win when hayden made 194 in a oneday match without ponting. watch each and every game how they are able to win best playing teams or able to make them go back to pavilion . why cant they do to australia. why are so many restrictions to india when they play against australia. it could be only sportive word but made his spirit go down and all the confidence from players and indian cricket fans has ended up with sad endings..lets hope to be good future of cricket.

  • ss on January 6, 2008, 22:52 GMT

    This is not about racial taunting. It is an Aussie tactic, because they find Harbhajan is too good a bowler to face and they want to make their way easy so they want him to go. Use this situation or else create something else.

  • Peter Youngblood on January 6, 2008, 22:17 GMT

    If Harbhajan did not know how inappropriate it is to call an African-descent man a monkey, he does now. Casteist India does need a lesson in the pain of being the subject of racist abuse, but even a stint in the US for its IT army, as eye-opening as it must be to be on the short end of the hierarchical stick, does nothing for the casteist/racist attitudes of the vast majority of them.

  • Wayne on January 6, 2008, 22:09 GMT

    Racism is wrong and has no place in this world. Harbajhan was found guilty of making a racist comment & has been punished accordingly.End of case. Yet there are blog entries claiming that because kids say monkey to each other in India then adults can say it in a racially motivated way.This is not on. Most of us saw the way Symonds was treated in the ODI series in India.Disgusting. Yet,regardless of the footage,the BCCI refused to admit the incidents happened.Does anyone else think this is wrong?Is the BCCI not concerned about racism? An Aussie has only once been charged under the racial code of conduct. Darren Lehmann yelled "black c**ts" after getting out against SL in 2003.To his credit he admitted he said it,admitted it was wrong & apologised the the Sri Lankans to the extent they appealed for him not to be suspended.He was suspended (correctly)for 5 matches regardless. Boof admitted and apologised.Let's hope Bhajji follows suit for the integrity of India's stance on racism.

  • Anonymous on January 6, 2008, 22:06 GMT

    to all the australians pointing towards the monkey chants directed towards symonds in india pleas refer back to the way teams such as SL, SA, Pak and Ind have been treated in the past in Australia. Murali especially has been targeted (often racially). While Australian players and commentators have been the worst offenders of racial abuse on the field historically. Lehman, Mcgrath, Dean Jones (hashim amla terrorist incident) and many others. It is not right for Indian writers to antagonizing our players, while overlooking the flaws of the opposing teams. I also feel our corporates should pull all contracts they have with the Australian cricketers. Our public should boycott all products endorsed by the Australians and movies which they appear in.

  • Jose Manuel on January 6, 2008, 22:03 GMT

    Here in the United States they want to put an asterix on Barry Bonds's home run record in baseball since he is purportd to have used steroids. Similarly, a huge asterix should be put on Australia's record equalling win. The footnote should read, 'With best complements from Benson and Bucknor'. Was it not Bucknor who gave Tendulkar 'head before wicket' few years back in Australia. India doesn't have anything to be ashamed of and Australia has nothing to be proud of. It was a blotted victory. I am still surprised Sri Lanka did not protest enough when Sangakkara was given out. Such mistakes can no longer be brushed aside as 'part of the game', when Australia is the beneficiary of all the calls in the crucial situations. Even when we played Pakistan in Pakistan with their own umptires have we seen such blatant one sidedness.

  • Stephen Lewis on January 6, 2008, 21:53 GMT

    First things first - the umpiring was indeed terrible.

    But i'm shocked and horrified that it's OK to racially villify someone if either

    a) They're one of those big nasty Australians b) It's only a joke

    Give me a BREAK here - I also love the circular arguments like "It's OK to call someone a Monkey here but it's NOT OK to say things about your sister so the only one who should be charged here is Symonds" - so the ONLY standards that should matter anywhere in international cricket are yours? Sounds like the BCCI's board are posting on here..... How's that implementation of the anti racism charter coming along you hypocrites?

  • rastrak on January 6, 2008, 21:27 GMT

    How can harbhajan be accused of racism????... i mean he is the most different looking cricketer in the world. He would not have said anything had symonds kept his mouth shut. If a person is attacked more than once, like aussies attacked harbhajan, then ofcourse he will stand up. What we need to look at is in what circumstance this conversation started. If symonds started it then he should be thrown out as well.

    This system is unfair. A person can come up to me and say something about my sister and if i say " stop acting like a monkey" then i get banned?

    where is the fairness? Everyone's equal maybe icc needs to understand that. One thing they dont know that the bigger problem in cricket today is sledgin rather than racism. we should get rid of it altogether. Why use your mouth rather than skill?

    Mukul if you can answer all my question marks then i will be more than happy to agree with you?

  • Singh on January 6, 2008, 21:21 GMT

    symonds and australian teams are lame and are using the double standards in cricket to get rid of harbhajan. I think if mukul is right in this article then half of the aussie team should be thrown out with harbhajan.

    1. When did talking about one's sister and mother in an offensive manner become acceptable? Maybe in aussie culture it is. Not in ours.

    2. Why did harbhajan did not walk when he was bowled by peterson? If u see the footage mate he did not know he asked the umpire in hindi and he told him that it had hit the wicket rather than keepers gloves breaking the wickets

    3. What indians think about ponting? He is a big ape who leads a team of monkeys, who cant digest the fact that someone can stand up to them.

  • Abiramganesh T on January 6, 2008, 21:20 GMT

    Also I believe the ICC has to look at rules regardin onfield player behavior more closely. The whole idea behind this system of rules is to let the sport be played in the spirit of the game. Without diminishing the seriousness of Racism, one has to feel that it is not a major talking point in India. Since Indians do no have the same history as the victims or perpetuators of it in the past, a person in India would not have the same feelings that someone in the Western world does. At the same time Indians will have deep reservations about comments about one's person and family. It is simply the way the Indian culture is. I should say that I somewhat symphathise with Bhaji here. It is difficult to have the Australians throw expletive after expletive about one's person and family and not respond in kind. I agree that is how the Australians play their cricket and is commonplace onfield in Australia. But to an Indian player they are deply offensive.

  • trivium on January 6, 2008, 21:16 GMT

    Aussies need to grow up. Ponting,clark and symonds are like little schoolyard kinds in my opinion. When cornered they resort to whatever dirty tactics they can think of and the latest is Ponting/Symonds brown nosing each other and coming up with this plan to get harb singh banned, and its worked! to all you Aussies out there, I doubt verymuch your match fixing techniques will work when you go to pakistan in March! haha!! The Aussies will come home crying like little hissy girls as per usual

  • Sami on January 6, 2008, 20:54 GMT

    So now in addition to being cheated out of the match in Sydney, Harbhajan has been banned for 3 matches without any proof whatsover, simply based on accussations of Ponting and Symonds. Will Brad Hogg also be banned for 3 matches based on India's complaint? If the law is not applied consistently, then it's time to call a spade a spade, a cheat a cheat and a farce a face AND END this tour. BCCI show some self-respect. THe ICC needs Asia not the other way around.

  • smriti on January 6, 2008, 20:38 GMT

    Symonds is no angel but that does not justify the act of making any racist remark towards him.As far as the term "monkey" being racial is concerned,if symonds takes offence in the word and think it targets him for his race,then in his case it is racial.And this is surely not the first time he has been called so.I totally support Harbhajan trying to give it back verbally but I am not sure whether calling him a "monkey" was the only way to do so.All this,ofcourse,matters if Harbhajan is really guilty of making the remark in the first place. And all this debate about the aussies being sore losers or the indians being hypocrites is pointless.The main issue is that the ICC,as the game's governing body has been incompetent.The codes of conduct for the players are poorly laid down and has major loopholes.Their functioning is poor and decision making inconsistent which has let off players at various points of time in the past.It is THEIR duty to ensure that injustice is not done to any team.

  • luke on January 6, 2008, 20:33 GMT

    since when is monkey a racially abusive word?? i gaurantee that every australian child has been called a monkey at sometime in their life and possible this has happened when they have been playing backyard cricket, cricket in the schoolyard or even competition cricket - have you ever heard of a child claiming racial abuse?? they might have chucked a little tanty - but honestly they would have been told to get over it

    seriously the australian cricket team is acting like 3year olds that haven't been weaned - oh oh he called me a monkey thats abusive - let me get my knickers in a twist - lets chuck that kid outta the game cause its just not right - please get off your high horse and just play cricket

    oh thats right the australian cricket team aren't playing cricket are they?? its win at all costs, abuse the competition so they never come back, and laugh all the way to the back

    the BCCI should appeal and include 1000 kids from aussie schools as rebuttal witnesses - aussie monkeys

  • Giovanny on January 6, 2008, 20:09 GMT

    To Travis, just keep Bucknor and Benson as umpires and let Clarke and Ponting self declare catches, Australia can go on to new heights. Oh yes, and let's have Symonds to the cricket commentary.

  • Giovanny on January 6, 2008, 20:01 GMT

    Message for Sharad Powar - bring the team back home till Harbhajan's name is cleared, till these pathetic and cowardly umpires are removed and till sledging is banned completely for all teams. Until this happens let's not waste India's cricket dollars.

    Message to Indian fan: If Sharad Powar doesn't bring the team home, support the Indian team BUT don't subscribe or watch the games on TV - no revenue for BCCI and they'll get the message.

  • Amit Parikh on January 6, 2008, 20:00 GMT

    Anyone who knows the game of cricket will agree that the 2nd test in Sydney was affected and marred by the 2 umpires on the field. I'm trying my best not to take anything away from this Australian victory, but the actions of the host team and umpires have made it very hard for me to do so.

    The Australians needs to take a page out of the West Indian's book of cricket. When they were the powerhouse, they remained one of the quietest teams on the field, especially during crunch-time, when the moments were on edge. You would hardly see any emotion when a wicket was taken, or when an appeal was rejected, it was professionalism through and through.

    That is the difference for me. The Australians have been poor hosts in terms of their spirit and the way they have been hypocritical in their approach. If they expect a standard, they should also adhere to the same rules.

    One thing is also for sure, the taint on this match will live on for a long time.

  • Suman on January 6, 2008, 20:00 GMT

    I grew up in Bengal and my parents and teachers did call me 'monkey' at times; however, this mildest form of (culturally)verbal abuse in Indian context is related to childish or objectionable behaviour, more specifically alluding to evolutionary theories rather than having anything to do with race. In the Bengali context however,'son of a monkey' or bustard slurs would be considered exponentially more serious.

  • Dave Richards on January 6, 2008, 19:40 GMT

    Got to get that 17th win at all costs. Lets get rid of the only person who can stop Ponting get yet another century on his quest to be the Mohammed Ali of cricket. The series has now been declared dead , and I do not have enough space to comment on the 'umpiring' by Benson , Ponting and that old duffer who USED to be fantastic but no more.Not surprised people are turning off Test Cricket ( even Australians ) when 5 days of riveting contest can be ruined by 3 people. Michael Clarke did brilliantly in his over , but his refusal to walk after steering the ball to Dravid is inexcuseable. There is a BIG difference between walking when there is at least some doubt ,and Clarkes idiocy . Next Australian captain ? God forbid . Symonds ? Huge talent , but his ego will eventually be his downfall ( unless his mate PUP is his captain of course ). He is milking the race card to its limit . Make up like that was banned on UK TV in the 60s for its racial stereotyping ! Lip gloss anyone ?

  • Gaurav on January 6, 2008, 19:31 GMT

    whatever happened in the field ,none of us is sure about that.but one thing i m sure about ,being an indian racism is the last thing that we will resort to irrespective of the urgency of the situation.I think there is something seriously wrong with this aussie team especially with symonds.The way he reacts gives an impression that he was mr.innocent and rest of the world is guilty.why he keeps on forgetting his own on-field antics??.I by no means support racist comments,but aussies for sure do not like the test of their own medicine.I found this aussie team highly arrogant,far too confident about their skill and whenever they are pulled out of their dream world, their histrionics start.somebody is needed to tell them that they are not Gods,that they can do anything and then get away with that.

  • Giovanny on January 6, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    Australia - a great team, my foot!!! No country should play with them, till: - Aussies stop sledging. Why does any country tolerate their sledging? They can go and antagonize any opponent and soon as the opponent says one word against them, they cry wolf to the umpires. To add insult injury they accuse and falsely convict Harbhajan via a rigged jury. - Get better unbiased umpires who don't bend to the Australian's on field pressures. Likes of Bucknor and Benson who get stared and sledged by Australians and still make no complaints.

    It would be cowardly on BCCI and Sharad Powar to look the other way here. This is the same team that humiliated him personally in front of his own country at the ceremonies a few months earlier. Does Sharad Powar have no self respect for him self or for the great country of India. The Aussies survive on the dollars India brings to the game, it's time that India flexed it's economic muscle and brought some fairness and decency to this gentleman's game.

  • Aakash Gor on January 6, 2008, 19:19 GMT

    First things first Bhajji is innocent until proven guilty, the aussies have no evidence just the word of Hayden Clarke and Symonds which can't be trusted, of course they will back up their team mate. Secondly, i wont be as extreme as some other india fans, naturally a black player would find monkey an insult but you have to look at bhajjis words in context if he said stop acting like a monkey then its not racist as it means that ure acting stupidly but if he made a mokey noise or said ur a monkey then it is racist. May be not as racist as black monkey but it still is racist and if there is conclusive evidence like audio tapes then Bhajji is guilty and should be fined or banned. Otherwise this is a clever Aussie Ploy which does 2 things 1 - its more mindgames to disrupt india so oz can break the world record. If Bhajji is banned then ponting wont get out! or 2 - to deflect attention of the poor umpiring decisions and off australia so they can concentrate on playing. Oz are v. good at it

  • Darshak on January 6, 2008, 19:04 GMT

    Somebody correct me if I am worng, but a pakistan wicket keeper was fined for claiming a catch which I thought was close.

    To me using different rules for different people (By different I mean different race and ethnic background) is more racists than being called a monkey. Especially in India considering the status of Hanuman, to be called a monkey is not racists. Also unless Symonds knows different we have all evolved from Monkeys.

  • Niranjan Balachandran on January 6, 2008, 18:46 GMT

    I don't want to delve into past Australian behavior to make a point but it certainly seems to me that Harbhajan's outburst (I am now sure there was one and that is not because of the verdict but also by the reconciliatory gestures that followed from him; it seemed like an apology, alright) was not unprovoked. The Indians at that time were on top and I cannot believe HS just beckoned onto to him and called him a monkey or anything else. So I certainly think this smacks of double standards that no one wants to know what Symonds said, for as many have mentioned that here, Symonds is no saint. And coming to the monkey term, what if he had said something like, 'Don't monkey around', or ' Stop chattering like a monkey'? I think this is stretching it way too far to insinuate that this phrase is a racist taunt while calling someone Symonds would certainly count as racist. At this rate, there would have to be an 'approved list of swearing and taunting' ! What farce!!

  • s.kartheepan on January 6, 2008, 18:33 GMT

    it has nothing to do with symonds but with the arrogancy of ponting`s captaincy.Had it been steve waugh the matter would not have been raised on public.Remember one thing during the 2001 series in INDIA mc.grath wasnt the best in his behaviours during a one day international match in INDIA for which the INDIANS gave written notice to the australian captain steve waugh.So its obviously clear that australians take life to be too serious.They are not the cool heads like the INDIANS.

  • Kaushik Chakrabarty on January 6, 2008, 18:33 GMT

    It's simple. If the umpires did not hear a racist comment, if Tendulkar did not hear one, then Harbhajan did not say it. How ironic!!! Mike Proctor, a citizen of a previously racist South Africa has punished a "brown" Indian for an alleged racist comment against an Australian with aborigine roots, on the evidence from three 'white" Austraians, who along with Symonds himself have a history of taunting visiting players. This is like the old British justice in India, or the old American justice in the South. A black man is doomed simply if a white man accuses him. Harbhajan was justified in retaliating to Symonds who has had a history of taunting him. If necessary, Harbhajan should take this to the courts and sue Ponting & co. for libel.

  • PRASH on January 6, 2008, 18:26 GMT

    Am still awaiting reply from the Aussie fans regarding whether they watch their team play when they go abroad? or do they only watch the home matches? Punter poof ponting has brought the game of cricket into disrepute with his criminal style antics. As for symonds...i first heard about him about 10 years ago. I thought he was rubbish then...and guess what?! i still think he's a fluke. A flat track bully like hayden.

  • Hope on January 6, 2008, 18:21 GMT

    you enjoyed this as much as I have enjoyed reading the abuse you're quite happy to let xenophobes post here willy-nilly. FY2.

  • You are sad and pathetic. on January 6, 2008, 18:19 GMT

    And I've had enough of your site.

  • But if I make a reasonable point.... on January 6, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    You won't publish my post.

  • Vishal on January 6, 2008, 17:51 GMT

    The racist tag is being used by this Australian team very loosely. Its a very big allegation and its a remark on the character of a person. Its bigger than cricket. If visiting team is called racist at the drop of a hat because you talk to a colored player, then there is nothing much you can do. You simply cannot take the word of the opposition and judge a person guilty. How can you come to aq conclusion that they are honest? Thats insane. Its better for the Indian team to boycott than being called racist. I HOPE CRICINFO POSTS MY COMMENT.

  • GSF on January 6, 2008, 17:44 GMT

    I always thought Indians were a nice,respectful people. Wonder what chants and comments 11 cricketers of African heritage will recieve when the Windies next tour. The ICC will need to step in if continues. Sad times ahead I am afraid.

  • Travis on January 6, 2008, 17:37 GMT

    If India had won the Test then this thread would be about 300 posts shorter, and we'd all be looking forward to the Third Test.

    But it just doesn't work like that, does it?

    Here's to 4-0.

  • Denesh on January 6, 2008, 17:15 GMT

    The Aussies are afraid as India continue to improve after the 1st Test disaster (which was expected as there was not sufficient time to acclimatise prior to the test). If India got 50/50 of the poor decisions , they probably would have won (A Symonds out on 31) or at least drawn (Dravid and Ganguly robbery)at Sydney. The Bajji saga is part of their strategy of destabalising visitors with their Mind Games !!! Beware....India on the rise!!!!

  • madan verma on January 6, 2008, 17:12 GMT

    I don't know why indian film industry is crazy to have brett lee in their videos , songs , even ponting is used to invited for ramp walking these people make hell lot of money from indian market. this was too personal and I afraid for poor sreesanth also I guess they must have a worst game plan for sreesanth. let agression in a controled manner be tackled. well it would be nice if sreesanth goes down under and then mr.mukul will have another go... thanks

  • harish on January 6, 2008, 17:12 GMT

    Monkey! Can anyone explain how it can be racist? The australians always take "shelter" with their actions saying its common in Australia but we were unsure that it was offensive in Asia. Man, talk about double standards. Ricky (the Squealer. I wanted to say "Rat" as used in the english phrase, but was afraid the moderator might think I was racist!) and his mates have been an embarassment to cricket and their nation. Nothing but a hyprocritical set of blokes who cant handle their own medicine.

  • madan verma on January 6, 2008, 17:05 GMT

    dear all just imagine who has handed the "ban" - mike procter a south african remember" dogs and....." I am really not a happy guy for now.it would have been even steven if symonds and co also been handed the same punishment for the instigation. thanks

  • madan verma on January 6, 2008, 17:00 GMT

    mukul kesvan must be a very happy man by now and must be enjoying the news on his couch and pop in hand as cricinfo has reported a 3 match ban on harbhajan even without any evidence. cheer up mr.kesvan!! we have been defeated by the mind games of ricky ponting and co. thanks

  • DJ on January 6, 2008, 16:55 GMT

    Its amusing to note that Australians are now being defended against racial abuse. There is no more racist nation than Australia. Everyone who is not white anglo saxon is given some stick and its all in good "fair dinkum" aussie humour. C'mon guys ..where is you machismo Aussie mojo here? What happened to "curry munchers" and "chingvale" in the Melbourne suburbs? If I remember correctly - wasnt it Darren Lehmann who called Jayasurya a "black ape". Hmmm..nothing racist there... Besides I dont understand what the big deal is about Symonds being called "Monkey". Its probably not very accurate considering he looks like something larger that swings from trees. Whats racial about it? Ian Botham was called "Guy the Gorilla" and I dont remember a hue and cry about it. Stop being sucks Australia and get on with it.

  • Arun Kumar V. on January 6, 2008, 16:43 GMT

    Mukul,

    I've been reading up a lot of your writing and most of it's very impressive.

    I have a few questions that people might want to ponder upon...

    If Harbhajan had dreadlocks and applied zinc cream on his lips because he was being paid for it and even if Australian Press called him a monkey...would you think it'd be because of race? Is it fair? Or am I being racist by saying 'fair' for justice?

    Is cricket getting a racial hangover or is it being passed on by Australian media..and players and plus, it looks like its gotten into you too.

    Cheers!

    Arun

  • Mithun on January 6, 2008, 16:36 GMT

    I just want to say that dont bring disgrace to monkeys by comparing it with symonds. its way better than him.

  • Mithun on January 6, 2008, 16:35 GMT

    I just want to say that dont bring disgrace to monkeys by comparing it with symonds. its way better than him.

  • Tom on January 6, 2008, 16:19 GMT

    For all the people (I use the term loosely) who don't think "Monkey" is a racist slur against someone of African decent maybe you really need to look at history. Africans people as a race would be referred to as Monkeys to indicate that they were less than human. If thats not a racial slur then I fail to see what the problem is with the words spicks, coons, chings, wogs and curry munchers. Afterall they don't offend me.

  • Aditya on January 6, 2008, 16:14 GMT

    Racism in any form is unacceptable. In India, Sikhs have been called Sardars and jokes abound using their turbans brains and anything else. In fact some of the best sardar jokes I have ever heard have been from Sardars That I have known. I giess we just have to figure out whether we, as Indians, have had enough of the "colonial Mentality" and decide to call the bluff... if they Punish bhajji they are punishing us.. let's hit them where it hurts most.. on their bloody wallets... I think Sri Lankans have more guts then us... Please do not turn your other cheek... One cheek is enough :-)

  • Prashant on January 6, 2008, 16:10 GMT

    Sledging, both the term and practice, seems to have been an Australian invention. Consequently, Ponting has decided to appoint himself the curator of this artform and feels he has the right to determine whether a specific “sledge” represents gamesmanship, merely good humoured banter or racism. An Australian, slipping in a comment on the field to break the opponents flow of play or concentration is “just how we play- hard & fair” and “within the laws of the game”. But if the roles are reversed and an Australian is subjected to their own ‘gamesmanship’ then that is suddenly unacceptable and baseless accusations are made by the (ironically) self appointed moral police of the game. There has not been racism here. Just some bruised egos. 16 consecutive test wins does not give you the right to bully the rest of the cricketing world. Meanwhile,maybe we’ll hear a remake of Percy Sledge’s 1966 hit When a Man Loves a Woman,that gave rise to this term,in the form of: When Harbhajan Loves Symonds.

  • sandy on January 6, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    Aussies Are the Bad Loosers!!! BullS**t Game played by the aussies and umpires

  • Muthu on January 6, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    what would you say to Symonds who dished out some derogatory stuff to Pathan after he hit him for a six? wonder if dhoni had lodged a complaint then? If symonds cant keep his mouth shut, then he should be prepared to receive as well.

  • sureshm on January 6, 2008, 16:03 GMT

    For all those Aussies complaining about monkey chants directed at Symonds, some points to note. First, it is indefensible and the stupid defense of it by some Indians inexplicable. Second, it is new. To the best of my knowledge, no West Indian team has complained about it even when they were thrashing the hell out of India (which was most of the time). Indeed, Sir Garfield Sobers, I recall, say that he enjoyed touring India in his autobiography. The monkey chants seem - if I had to guess - to have been picked up by some idiots watching too much European football (Italian, Spanish leagues, perhaps?) Third, there is little doubt that Indians are at least as racist as Australians. That said, I would urge Aussies to note that to many Indians - myself included - there is no reason why racist abuse is any worse than any other type of abuse. To you, abuse directed at one's mother or sister may be "part of the game." Rest assured, we in India or Pakistan do not view it in that light.

  • Shalender Singh on January 6, 2008, 15:42 GMT

    There is nothing stupid in what has happened. This is a kind of behaviour the entire world expects from Australian Cricket team. With 13 players to your side,with the two having the veto power and one technology expert like Ricky ponting in the side,who can judge better than the technology today.You can no doubt win every match. I think they are should be called "world cheaters" rather than calling them world champions. Australians cricketers were never gentleman and neither we expect the same from them because this is what they are in thier true colours.

  • glenn on January 6, 2008, 15:26 GMT

    haha i cannot wait to see the perth test match when shaun tait is steaming in on a rock hard wicket and takes off the heads of the entire indian top order..then we'll see how good you really are!!

  • shyam on January 6, 2008, 15:24 GMT

    Shame on Alex is he Indian how can you call srisanth and bajji as stupids. You believe Indian say such words pls be Indian I strongly think that all the five aussies should reverted against false allegations against bajji. Indian cricket board should be strong as Jagmohan Dalmiya did last time to ICC. We run the show we should also protect our cricketers against wrong allegations wake up Pawar show your power or pick up wear bangle and sit at home and also request some comments said against Indians by some people I believe either they are not good readers of the game or they are not true Indians. I would like to ask one question to Ricky ponting and his team pls give the meaning of sportsmanship if they know the meaning they will not play such a dirty game. I always believe they are dirty team and they will be dirty team ever to be played game.

  • Ostrichlike Aussie on January 6, 2008, 15:21 GMT

    To Riffles Sniffles,Mick and other australian ignoramuses, IF you prefer to believe that Ponting is a saint, please apply for his sainthood to the Vatican. In fact do that for the entire team. As for India being losers, that would be the obvious result if 11 play against 13. I have an idea - get your most favorable umpires Steve bucknoi and darrell hair for the Perth and Adelaide tests. os that you can conveniently win and gloat over your "fair win". I used to admire Allan Border's team, even the one under Mark Taylor. Not anymore. Don't even get me talking about the Australian media. Another question, if someone has an itching sensation in both armpit regions simultaneously and Symonds is watching, should they do nothing because he's going to go screaming - racism, racism?

  • shyam on January 6, 2008, 15:20 GMT

    Shame on Alex is he Indian how can you call srisanth and bajji as stupids. You believe Indian say such words pls be Indian I strongly think that all the five aussies should reverted against false allegations against bajji. Indian cricket board should be strong as Jagmohan Dalmiya did last time to ICC. We run the show we should also protect our cricketers against wrong allegations wake up Pawar show your power or pick up wear bangle and sit at home and also request some comments said against Indians by some people I believe either they are not good readers of the game or they are not true Indians. I would like to ask one question to Ricky ponting and his team pls give the meaning of sportsmanship if they know the meaning they will not play such a dirty game. I always believe they are dirty team and they will be dirty team ever to be played game.

  • kaku on January 6, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    Dear keshavan.....all i can say is....u r a lo**r....looking for some readership for ur articles...cheers

  • Travis on January 6, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    You're all monkeys. Apparently that's a compliment.

  • Anon on January 6, 2008, 15:13 GMT

    Someone talked about time wasting!! Well, how about Aussies? Do you think they bowled at a great over rate? I think you havent been watching! The moment, they get a little under pressure, the come up with all sorts of antics, sledging, and other mind games to unsettle the opposition which is nothing short of cheating. India were outplayed in Melbourne and were outplayed by a 14 member australia team and their verbal antics. Well the previous series against England and Srilanka, they were hardly tested?

  • Roy on January 6, 2008, 15:12 GMT

    I think Symonds should stop crying like a monkey and just quietly slip the $100 bill to Benson and Buckner without making such a racket!

  • jaytara on January 6, 2008, 15:11 GMT

    Tim>> You claim that Indians are racists but the good Aussies just sledge. Very interesting Tim, do you think we were born yesterday--- the Aussies use four-letter words and B****y Indian epithets freely even the self-professed men of the church like Haydos, no one has commented how that big lummox of a man needed a runner when he was sivelling his big behind so well, what a bunch of slobby cheats, shark-bait!!!!

  • g. arun on January 6, 2008, 15:11 GMT

    harbajan , yuvraj, sreesanth, irfan pathan, these guys never play the game in the spirit of the game. Whenever a wicket falls look at the way the above mentioned 4 players behave, they go into a war dance and are absusive and aggressive, lookig at them one is not sure if it is a game or war. Yuvraj has been cut to size, shown his place in international cricket, i think it is good for indian cricket that something like this came up aginst an abusive character like harbajan, because somebody had to take the initiative to curb their aggression and hostile attitude while indulging in what is essentially just a sport.

  • Sandeep on January 6, 2008, 15:01 GMT

    Mick, The way Symonds was treated in India was bad agreed, that obviously does not mean that umpiring was extremely bad in Sydney or that a few wrong appeals were made by Australians one of which was an absolute shocker. And btw Ganguly was'nt out the evidence was inconclusive and if it had gone to the third umpire would surely have been given as not-out.

  • rajnish on January 6, 2008, 15:00 GMT

    Guys dont jump the guns,there is no evidence against harbhajan,this is dirty tactics of aussies to get rid of bhajji as they are feeling the heat,ponting is indeed Bhajji`s bunny so this is the last disperate attempt by them to put him under pressure,No one else heard him saying monkey only symonds teamates heard.Take a life....

  • Gerard on January 6, 2008, 14:58 GMT

    I don't understand what all the controversy is about. 'Monkey' is not a racial insult. Yes, some Australians would be offended to be called one. They are generally found in institutions known as primary schools. I can't believe a 'professional' athlete would get so upset over such a lame sledge.

    The reason Symonds is being targeted rather than the other players is not his skin colour or general appearance- it's the fact that he can't seem to handle stupid and irrelevant comments from the opposition.

    (And yes, I am Australian)

  • Sandeep on January 6, 2008, 14:53 GMT

    Mick, The way Symonds was treated in India was bad agreed, that obviously does not mean that umpiring was extremely bad in Sydney or that a few wrong appeals were made by Australians one of which was an absolute shocker. And btw Ganguly was'nt out the evidence was inconclusive and if it had gone to the third umpire would surely have been given as not-out.

  • glenn on January 6, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    Please everyone, i cannot believe some of these things i'm hearing. When is the indian cricket team going to realise that racially taunting somebody is not going to win them a test match, it seems that when things are going bad for the indians, something like this always comes up to cover up the real issues in that teams such as the disgraceful form of some of these so-called 'shining lights' of indian cricket such as yuvraj and MS dhoni. so to the entire indian cricket team, next time you step out onto the field, whether it be with harbhajan or not, the best way to intimidate the aussies is not to make racist taunts- it is with the bat and ball. If india want to earn the respect of the australian public, they should quit their little games and show some heart by forgetting about their 'god' statuses in india and going out there and having a real crack- not like any of these half arse little efforts that we have seen so far this series.

  • udai bhan on January 6, 2008, 14:44 GMT

    australians cannot be believed any more

  • Sandeep on January 6, 2008, 14:40 GMT

    Hey Michael, I did not know making vulgar references to ones sisters and mother in the heat of the moment is acceptable, maybe it is so in western world but definitely not the rest of the world.

  • trey on January 6, 2008, 14:39 GMT

    I agree if Bajji said something like you "black ape" or "black monkey" it's extremely politically incorrect and the Aussie's cannot be blamed for being annoyed. But if Symonds was hurling sledges at Bajji (which he probably was) and Bajji retaliated with a "stop acting like a money" then its an entirely different context. It's not just the word but the context in which it was said which has to be adressed. As for the boorish behavior of some ignorant fans in India, Harbhajan can hardly be tarnished with that brush. Every country has a few idiots, India is no exception. Neither is Australia with a history of racism especially against SL. That doesn't mean all australians are racist does it? It seems rather petty, but this MAYBE a clever rouse by Ponting against Bhajji considering the obvious discomfort he faces against Bhajji's bowling. However, with all these "witnesses" "testifying" against Bajji and lawyers lining up, it seems theres definitely some genuine agitation in the Aus camp.

  • Mick on January 6, 2008, 14:39 GMT

    After reading the biased Indian supporters comments on here it tells alot about how just like some Indian players you are hypocrits. Here they are whingeing about not walking....(Ganguly for one stands his ground alot when clearly out, and who can forget Harbhajan's pathetic refusal to go when clean bowled by Kevin Pietersen) talk about hypocrits many more I could name too. The Indians need to learn to lose with a bit of dignity and stop whingeing about decisions (predominately hyped up by the media for sensationalism)and focus on the job at hand to try to beat Australia (that's a hard task in itself) How's Kumble's form at the press conference now that was embarrassing to watch as was the form of the Indian press talk about hypocritical whingers. The same Indian press who are always personal and vicious in their questions, who in the past have wanted to fight players, who also sweep racial matters under the carpet. THE TREATMENT SYMONDS GOT IN INDIA WAS ABYSSMAL.

  • Sandeep on January 6, 2008, 14:35 GMT

    To Mick, what a joke, you want to believe the words of a man who appeals for a grounded catch go ahead and believe, Ponting should be banned for minimum of 5 test matches for it

  • Luke on January 6, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    WOW. Appears that lots of Indian supporters left comments! Umm in regard to Fanon's comments (13hr34min)I fail to see the irony in a player from a "non-coloured" country complaining of racism from a player from a "coloured" country. Racism can directed against any colour, creed or religion and contrary to modern thinking there is no such thing as "reverse racism". Secondly you seem to be discounting Symonds grievance based on what you seem to think is his comical appearance. Not sure if you have a mirror mate but you should have a glance. Maybe Harbhajan will be looking back.

  • Michael on January 6, 2008, 14:26 GMT

    Clarification: 1) Lehmann said black c&*% - he was suspended for 5 ODIs 2) I am still amazed at the attempts to explain the monkey taunts by reference to Indian gods and local languages - footage was screened from the Mumbai ODI showing Indians doing monkey chants, with HUGE banners saying "Australia - why the monkey (Symonds) with the kangaroos". If you did this in Europe, you would be banned for life and beaten up by others in the crowd. 3) The Indian board and Mumbai police all insisted that: a) no monkey chants AT ALL were going on, then b) oh sorry, it is a foreign language - just a misunderstanding then c) yes they are saying monkey but it is not intended to be racist. 4) To my fellow Indians - you may not like it, but the world view is that generic sledging, no matter how vulgar, is acceptable in sport, but that under NO circumstances is race based commentary permissible. 5) Supporters - grow up and move on - the game was ruined by substandard umpiring, not the Aussies!

  • Tova on January 6, 2008, 14:23 GMT

    Harden up India!!

    You lost...

    I wonder how you guys would have reacted if you were called a monkey!!

    We would never hear the end of it!!

    And by the way, I haven't seen too many of the Indians walking...

    So who are the hypocrites??

    There is more dribble written here in these comments than I have ever read!!

    Get on with it and stop complaining...

  • Mick on January 6, 2008, 14:17 GMT

    Firstly Harbhajan is a repeated offender, we all saw the abyssmal footage of the behaviour of the Indian crowds in October with their monkey chants and monkey gestures to Symonds and the way the Aussies felt about it (disgusted) they moved on from it and let it go, as I am led to believe Harbhajan apologised in India etc and the Aussies were happy to forget about it as long as it didn't happen again, remember the Indian officials at first denied it all and wanted it all swept under the carpet, so he knows damn well calling a black man a monkey is racist, there is no excuse for it. The Australians play hard cricket for 5 days that's why they win test matches and there is daylight between them and the rest of the world and sledeing etc...is all part and parcel of it all teams do it some are just better at it than others, but they don't use racial slurs, they don't make excuses for losing by blaming everybody else for their loses, Harbhajan should be suspended it is unacceptable behaviour

  • Macjoubert on January 6, 2008, 14:14 GMT

    Ponting is called Hatbhajan's rabbit - is that racist too?

  • Kanya on January 6, 2008, 14:11 GMT

    this mr kesavan should shut his trap in case he does not know the full facts. he seems to be an indian siding australia. If you think that harbhajan should be banned from the game forever then in that case the entire australian team should be thrown out of international cricket. Get your facts clear mate.

  • Tim on January 6, 2008, 14:11 GMT

    The simple facts are that Harbahjan has said it multiple times to symonds. Did you see the way the indian crowd were getting involved in india, and many of you argue that calling Symonds a monkey is not racist. I agree that the aussies sledge alot but racism of any sort cant be tolerated, it cant just be ignored, from any team its not just because its harbajhan. Now lets talk about double standards...in a recent article for channel 9 harbajhan stated 'he wished the series in australia to be played with a good spirit' - double standards..... I wont say much more as im sure the BCCI will 'strongly' state their case against me. Its ok to be jealous of australia, after all we have beaten india time and time again. Good article Mukul ...........

  • Sushobhan Chowdhury on January 6, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    Dear Mukul,

    Please do not try to judge Harbhajan on the basis of what Ponting says. He may be an angel for you but not for us. If calling monkey is racism calling others mothers and sisters names are downright obscene. Why harbhajan should be banned for life, even if he is guily? Was Darren Lehman banned for life? You should concentrate on bigger issues in the game rather than trying to sensationalise the non-issues. You think Symonds was singing praises to Harbhajan. Try and find out why umpires robbed India. Why Bucknor is anti-Indian. Find out that firat and speak on all this non-issues.

  • rahul bhandari on January 6, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    I do not understand why we all are arguing. Things have happened.Think what should be the positive move at this present moment. I think personally everyone should regard each other with respect and dignity. We do not know what we would be born as before we actually come to this world. I would not go into philathropy . So we should just hope things turn out to be best for both the teams in upcoming 3rd and 4th test. I hope symonds and harbhajan singh would mutually undesrtand the real beliefs apart from thinking how they each other look and to what country they belong to. Well good to them from all of us.

  • Sushobhan Chowdhury on January 6, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    Dear Mukul,

    Please do not try to judge Harbhajan on the basis of what Ponting says. He may be an angel for you but not for us. If calling monkey is racism calling others mothers and sisters names are downright obscene. Why harbhajan should be banned for life, even if he is guily? Was Darren Lehman banned for life? You should concentrate on bigger issues in the game rather than trying to sensationalise the non-issues. You think Symonds was singing praises to Harbhajan. Try and find out why umpires robbed India. Why Bucknor is anti-Indian. Find out that firat and speak on all this non-issues.

  • Kunal Savarkar on January 6, 2008, 14:01 GMT

    Please stop being holier-than-thou, Mr Kesavan. If we don't stand up for our rights, no one is going to. I am sure you will win lots of brownie points for standing up against Bhajji. He is a true son of the soil, a true north Indian, who will not take any shit from anyone- unlike the others.

  • Saurav on January 6, 2008, 13:58 GMT

    I feel compelled to add my thoughts, given the vast misconception to the original article. Ponting made a complaint based on an alledged racial remark by Harbhajan. The majority of the posters share their personal feelings. Racism constitutes behaviour that, is unwanted, creates feelings of unease, humiliation, intimidation or discomfort, causes offence, threatens or appears to threaten, whether intentional or not. Andrew Symmonds feels the term "Monkey" constitutes the above, as was well documented earlier last year. If this term has been used again, then Harbhajan should be suitably punished. With reference to the sledging habits of others; the same procedure can be used if a player feels it is over the top. If the Indians decide to take the moral high-ground and ignore them, they belittle the sledger. Retaliation only serves to lower the bar. I too felt anger at the poor umpiring decisions. I hope that H isn't guilty and that the Indian Team can take pride in playing good cricket.

  • Ramesh on January 6, 2008, 13:55 GMT

    I wrote on cricinfo's feedback, but never saw my commments posted as done with other articles. Nevertheless for the third time: I would like to advise the Indian team on the way forward, as a law student and cricket, how do it get in touch? Symonds has no right engaging in an altercation with Harbhajan mid pitch, especially him not bowling at the time. He's begging for trouble, and got it, and now he and team complains. Ponting is annoyed at Harbhajan getting him out so many times in cricket, it was the end of a day that Aus lost the initiative. Symonds is seeminly seeking out the victimhood concept, and Ponting has long tried to latch onto something to take the cake. As regular sledgers of the game, they have tried hard to switch the blame on someone else, here they think they have an opportunity. Would be a sad day should the ICC succumb to this Australian arrogance and reverse/perverse strategy. Let the ICC waive its anti-Asian policy in this one instance for the sake of the game.

  • raj on January 6, 2008, 13:51 GMT

    Hey,mukul,if u dont know how to write an article,be calm,but dont write unnecessary things. Its a shame on u. We all know that,the racism will never be spared. If at all he referred him to monkey,wats wrong in that ?,that was not a racism........,instead it was an animal name!!!!!!!. It was 100% correct that he was a monkey, with the way he appears with his crooked style and all of his actions.

  • Sen on January 6, 2008, 13:47 GMT

    Symonds is the one who provoked, he should be punished first without hearing Bajji. Then if Bajji, found guilty, he too.

    But one thing is crystal clear, Australians are no more gentlemen's in this cricketing earth. Players like Ponting, Gilchrist, Symonds, Clarke proved they are not honest and not respecting cricket. This is the outcome of the game at SCG.

  • Bis on January 6, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    The fact that so many people here don't regard calling a black person a monkey as racist shows the ingrained Indian racism towards dark skinned people. For too long this kind of Indian racism has been swept under the carpet - having it brought out into the open is one good thing which might emerge from this episode. It will also serve as a salutary lesson for Harbhajan that shooting his mouth off is no substitute for performing on the field which is what he is there to do.

  • BigAd on January 6, 2008, 13:44 GMT

    If anyone ever needed confirmation of how unbelievably racist Indian cricket bloggers are, then the responses above are Exhibit A.

  • David on January 6, 2008, 13:34 GMT

    I've read enough tripe on this matter.Time for some REAL facts!Before the series began the law was laid down by Mike Proctor on racial abuse, one taunt in particular was mentioned following the Indian one day series. Captains were informed that if they became aware of a player on their team being racially taunted, they should immediately inform the officiating umpires,IMMEDIATELY when it happens.Forget the arguements of "double standards" or "whatever happens on the field should stay on the field", "bad losers" or "dirty ploys used to get on top" this was the protocol for this series. End of subject. Secondly, for all the fools who say there is nothing wrong calling someone a monkey, well, there is if you are of West Indian origin. The insinuation is that you are less evolved,eg. your forefathers swung from the trees,you have limited intelligence etc. Those who say they do not find this offensive miss the point,calling someone a name knowing it offends their ethnicity defines racism!

  • Steve-Perth on January 6, 2008, 13:31 GMT

    Racism of any sort should not be tolerated at any level of the game. Alot of people are suggesting here that there are double-standards here for Australian's on the issue of racism, heres the facts: Darren Lehmann was suspended for 5 one-day internationals for racist comments he made, which werent even directed at a player from the opposition. To blindly suggest that there are double-standards for Australians is, plain and simply, wrong. Whilst, clearly the Indians were on the end of a number of poor umpiring dismissals, which probably cost them the match there is no need for people to get so worked up over a cricket game. Bucknor is a very talented and experienced umpire, he makes mistakes, like you, and me, give the poor guy a break. What must be remembered at the end of the day is that this is a game, racism doesnt need to be brought into it, and criticising umpires is simply stupid (hell, if it were so easy, you and me would be doing it?).

  • Carlos on January 6, 2008, 13:31 GMT

    Racism in any form is bad. Aussies are big racists. They have a history. Their origin has a scar. (This island had all the convicts send from Europe, so one can understand their origin). But Indians are no better. We have racism in our blood (Indians). Even if we see a Sunday matrimonial Column in any of the leading Indian newspapers - all of us want a Gori Bahu (Fair Bride). People discriminate among their children - Gori beti and Kali beti. Norht Indians tease South Indians , Easters (Manipuris etc) are treated and called chinkies, and absurd deragotory words..). I have seen African students struggling in India - bombarded with all sorts of comments. Indians are the biggest racials....as they are Pseudos.

  • jen on January 6, 2008, 13:27 GMT

    The writer of this article of banning Harbhajan seems to be a mad guy. if calling monkey was racism. then this author is mad

  • Matth on January 6, 2008, 13:20 GMT

    If Harbhajan (sorry for the spelling) made racist offensive comments then he must be punished. simple as that. Past actions by any country are irrelevant to the current situation.

    Equally future offensive comments by the Australians should also be punished.

    Seems pretty simple to me.

  • Jonathan on January 6, 2008, 13:08 GMT

    Indian supporters should learn the difference between a sledge and a racist insult. Calling a black person a 'monkey' is a racist insult. It has no place in cricket and the ICC has recently agreed by laying down the law on this. Harbhajan knew that calling Symonds a 'monkey' is racist. Even the BCCI agrees by banning the Indian supporters who racially abused Symonds recently in India.

    You can sledge an opponent - you might even utter a few swear words - but you are not allowed under the present ICC rules to racially abuse anyone. It's that simple.

    Don't call a black person a 'monkey'. It's racial abuse. I don't see why the Indian cricketers and supporters target Symonds with this abuse. It's not nice and doesn't reflect well on Indians in general.

  • whitington on January 6, 2008, 13:07 GMT

    The sound of a billion "chips" falling of the indian continent's shoulders is deafining. Yes the umpiring was bad, but to suggest that the umpires were bribed is plain silly. The English owe us no favourers, & a West Indian is surely second only to a Pom for wanting to show us up. We Won You Lost it might not seem fair but the result stands, build a bridge get over it, we will see you in Perth. Oh yes I forget cant wait for Taits return.

  • Vij on January 6, 2008, 13:05 GMT

    As an Indian, I am embarassed. True, the game was mared by some bad decisions, but we had our chances to win this game on day 4 and did not capitalise on them. And moreover, marking remarks about Australia cheating and being sore losers is not reflecting on their character but our own - show me a professional athlete or team that doesn't try and win every game/opportunity and get every advantage possible? Moreover, appealing is a part of cricket - Kumble in the 1st innings against Hogg being an example.

    The issue here has nothing to do with any of this. It is to do with racism. Not chatter, not other remarks, racism. However, the issue here is consistency - the ICC needs to have a standard of punishment for ALL offending players.I ndians who are racist should be punished to the extent that all other players are punished - and in the past with Australian players such as McGrath and Lehmann, that hasn't been a lot.

    Let's just concentrate on the good cricket.

  • Fallon on January 6, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    "I don't see how calling somebody a stupid indian is racist" - James Sutherland, in response to the names Monty Panesar was subject to.

    Australians - and I've lived here my whole life - seem to have serious trouble recognising racism... Because obviously Darren Lehmann calling the Sri Lankans "Black C-nts" is less racist that Symonds being called a "monkey". Another classic example is the advertising campaign last year - "tonk a pom"... I might be being pedantic but is that not also a derogatory attitude towards somebody because of their place of origin?

    In the same way that Ricky Ponting didn't claim a catch to "prove" his integrity, I believe that the Australians are trying to victimise themselves to prove their sensitivity to racism, but instead simply miss the point and disgrace themselves.

    They are the best team in the world, no question.

    So just play cricket.

  • disgusted on January 6, 2008, 13:02 GMT

    I think cricinfo should be very careful here what is being written is racial vilification and could be liable to a law suit, maybe they need to censor some replies as the racial tone is appalling. if cricinfo get sued then you guys have no where to blog so use your brains and think about what you say, because its disgusting and offensive. if the indian treatment of black people is the norm as shown here, then you ought to be deeply ashamed of yourselves.

  • Tas on January 6, 2008, 13:00 GMT

    The real issue here is "what is abuse?". The ICC must answer that clearly, and then hold all players accountable to it, regardless of what nation they play for.

    If that definition includes words that Indians or Australians find acceptable off the field, then they will just have to remember that they are not acceptable on the field.

    Abuse should not be tolerated, but lets define it so everyone knows what the rules are, and then punish those who cross the line.

  • Gurch on January 6, 2008, 12:52 GMT

    Completely agree with Raj Balakrishnan - these accusations have been cooked up by Ponting who is not comfortable playing him and the biased umpiring has made things even worse. If Symonds was called a monkey - does anyone here think his reaction would have been to carry on walking and speaking back? Utter rubbish! The Aussy art of orchestrated appeals has won them their 16th test! India will break this record - the talent they have in their ranks is incomparable to any other country - the T20 success is a small tip of a big iceberg. India are the only nation that could and probably will start fielding specialist teams in the 3 forms of the game - with about 3/4 core to each! So let Aussies enjoy their dying success which is obvious from their pleading performances.

  • Listerine on January 6, 2008, 12:50 GMT

    Ponting is attempting deviously to get Harb singh removed from the next test because he has exposed ponting's rather rubbish batting. And of course Symonds will say anything to help Ponting. They have that dimwit Bucknor on their side!

    Australian's when are you going to play like cricketers, and not like convicts?

  • Listerine on January 6, 2008, 12:46 GMT

    What a poor test match which has been marred by the umpiring and Australian team's antics. Dare I say it...match fixing. The Australian's have yet to impress me with bat and ball. I have watched alot of cricket over the years, since I was 12 (i'm now 30) and this is without a doubt the worst Australian team i've ever seen. Their attitude is one of pure belligerence and not just levelled against their opponents, but it seems they've scared the umpires into making them their "yes men" I watch Pontings,Symonds innings this test match. It cannot be compared to how Laxman and Tendulkar played. Ponting is a nasty little man, with the morals of an alley cat.

  • Spin King on January 6, 2008, 12:40 GMT

    Why is the word "Monkey" racist? We all came from Monkey. Why not the word, "Turbanator" racist? Turbanator is more racist because it involves the turban, which only sikh's wear. Mukul, I have supported you on everything you said before (except for dropping Yuvraj. As it turned out you were right). But, this time, I think you need to be more impartial. Just because Australians don't want someone to say the word, "Monkey", we can't ban Harbhajan for life. People who thinks so, should get one.

  • IanM on January 6, 2008, 12:36 GMT

    Why is racism only supposed to be seen to be practicied by white people? Do not people of darker skin make racist comments to whites or others?

    The answer is that all peoples have racists amongst their ranks.

    There is a big emphasis on being "Culturally aware" and I am sure that visiting teams get some breifing on what is and is not acceptable in the country you are visiting.

    Whether or not it is acceptable in India to call someone a monkey, in Australia it is an insult and a racial slur. So whilst you are in Australia, you are careful not to use that term.

    I doubt that the complaint is a ploy to distract Harbijan from his game, this is more serious than that and whether you like or dislike Australians, I do not accept that the complsint was made lightly.

    It is up to the match referee to make a decision but if you remember the dissent decison from the Melbourne test, you would not expect a proper decision.

  • BIS on January 6, 2008, 12:36 GMT

    Guys can we get something straight?

    TO CALL A BLACK MAN A MONKEY IS RACIST FULL STOP END OF PERIOD......

  • nang on January 6, 2008, 12:30 GMT

    Its amazing how so many opinions on this matter completely miss the point on all these issues. Sledging and Racial Abuse are two entirely different things. Sledging is abuse, but it is NOT racial! Lets put this in context, if Harbajahn did say the word "Monkey" to Andrew Symonds, he should have known better and should be punished accordingly. Whatever way you all put it, Harbajahn knew that this word was totally unacceptable and should not be exchanged between the two teams in whatever context. This word surrounded the whole racism issue in one day series. I would look at it this way if Ponting or any aussie player had sai it to any Indian player. I am sorry, Harbajahn should have known better, and if found guilty, will pay the price for his unacceptable actions.

  • Anon on January 6, 2008, 12:30 GMT

    Why should Harbhajan be gone forever? Ridiculous to say the least!!! It is common knowledge that provocation from aussies is the root cause and it is strange that no visiting teams before has lodged any complaints against aussies for their sledging. There had been similar complaints before and nobody had been banned forever. Has a complaint been lodged against harbhajan before or have australians been innocent and gentlemanly always?

  • Scott on January 6, 2008, 12:22 GMT

    How everyone quickly forgets above Tendulkar being PLUM to Michael Clarke in the first innings. He only batted thru the entire innings like Symonds, yet nothing gets said by the Indian media - how convient....

    The Aussies pants the Indians in Melbourne, guess they were cheating there too. Oh, what about the previous wins against Sri Lanka, England and the like.

    Smells of sore losers to me. First the Asians run Daryl Hair out of the game and now Bucknor will be next. Very quick to point the finger at someone else when you guys lose....

    And the talk about the Aussies and the way then conducted themselves, how about mentioning the blantent time wasting by India today. Sweeping the batting crease and oh, I forgot my batting glove! Spirit of cricket indeed!!!!

  • Travis on January 6, 2008, 12:22 GMT

    To all the Indian posters who think that calling someone a monkey is not an expression of contempt (and I'm not really saying this, I just want you to have an honest think about how you would feel if I DID say it):

    You, Sir, are a monkey.

    If you choose to take offense at that then you're a hypocrite. Plain and simple.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is racism.

    If you were Symonds' captain and he told you that he had been racially abused, what would you do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

    If you say you'd do nothing then you, Sir, are a coward as well as a hypocrite.

  • Chooka on January 6, 2008, 12:12 GMT

    hey Pakistani Raja .. I have to say i enjoyed your comment! Personally I cant wait for this series to end and for the tour of Pakistan to begin. It will be nice to see the Aussies play against a team of men who play hard without excuse for a change.

  • Pradeep on January 6, 2008, 12:10 GMT

    The Indian Media and Indian Sport journos have let down the Indian team very badly. Over the years when the Aussies resorted to most unsporting behaviour the Indian Media never higlighted them. I am absolutely disgusted that Mukul quotes the views of a person like Slater. He was the guy, who during a Mumbai test match some years ago went upto Rahul Dravid and verbally abused him after he was judged not out by the umpire. He was joined by Glen McGrath and another aussie player. I clearly remember the aussies descended on Rahul like a pack of wolves. There was abolutely no reaction from the Indian media or BCCI or ICC. Now Slater cooly passes unfavorable judgement on Harbhajan Singh for the so-called racist comments Harbhajan made. Mukul please remove your head from wherever it is buried.

  • Vishnu on January 6, 2008, 12:08 GMT

    One question - does this entire racism argument rest on the fact that Symonds is of aborigine descent? If Bhajji had called Ponting a 'monkey' would that be considered racist? Does this mean that Symonds should not be subject to any name-calling whatsoever? What if Bhajji called Symonds a dog - would that be racist? Chetan Chauhan has a point - why has the poor monkey been singled out as aracist word? Generally, in India, even in a school yard, 'monkey' is a word used to describe less than perfect behaviour. Even my mother has on occassion called me 'kothi'. If Symonds is going to hide behind 'racism' every time he faces a few words after dishing out a few himself, that's not on.

  • chris on January 6, 2008, 12:02 GMT

    i would happly see india kicked out of world cricket along with zimbabwe. its unfortunate because the team does bring a good rivalry and are fairly good. but the fans in general are an embarassment to the game. next big crowd issue and india should be out. or at minimum suspended from playing home internationals for a few years. maybe then their fans child like behaviour and racist chants will be cut from their dwindling society.

  • Aussie Mick on January 6, 2008, 12:01 GMT

    I am a dark skinned Aussie who has played with and against a number of players from recent/current Australian teams since 1987. Each weekend, I play club cricket here and witness the so-called "tough man's" world of Aussie cricket. Let me tell you - it's The Great Lie. We are brilliant at dishing it out. Abuse, including racial abuse is OK so long as we're the ones imparting the insults. I've played in games with a few of the current team where I've seen them lose the plot completely when someone sledges them. For Ponting and Co to actually start complaining about it just shows what hypocrites they are. Who made Australia the "Morality Police"? If an Aussie says he caught the ball cleanly, the world is expected to believe it without question. We don't walk but we expect others to do so. We sledge shamelessly, wax lyrical about leaving it on the field and feel macho by saying "it's tough and it's a man's game." I'm ashamed to say that it's now the barometer of true manhood!

  • Gautam on January 6, 2008, 11:59 GMT

    The bottom line - the whole human race is racist a) Whites calling colored player like Eto'o a monkey b) Indians calling people chinki & gore c) African-Americans being called niggers d) Whites being called white c**ts by African Americans You cannot change it .. the whole thing has been passed down the ages .. every race will always consider itself to be better than every other race. Some may say that the world has changed .. I refuse to agree with that.

  • Lucas on January 6, 2008, 11:57 GMT

    I am from australia, and i now live in japan. I work and deal with many people from many areas of the world. The one thing i have learnt is that every area has different sensitivities. In japan the term "kuro hito" - black person - is perfectly ok and not derogatory but if i were to say it in say Los Angeles i'd be lucky to escape alive. In australia it's perfectly ok to joke about an immigrants (including the original convicts) heritage - as long as we smile when doing so but we never say the term "abo" or joke about an aboriginals heritage. We found these out the hard way, and of course we are still learning. In my daily dealings i meet people from india, nepal, china, america, etc and i am still learning what is ok for me to do and say with different cultures. India has been offered a chance to learn a cultural lesson relatively painlessly - no violence and little bitterness. Otherwise if you wish to learn the hard way then i suggest calling a samaon person a monkey.

  • chris on January 6, 2008, 11:56 GMT

    just like i said, indian fans continue to make excuses. the non stop racist comments towards this blogger are disgraceful. you idiots calling out white people... lol learn something about your own countries history!!!! you retards the earlier iindians were of dark skin until the lighter skins (like yourselves) took over them. you are just as bad as the english taking the aborigines land. if australia is such a racist country then why do so many indians live there?? no body is making you live with the big bad aussies!!! the funniest thing is that in india cricket is full of the rich class, how many working class indian cricketers?? indian people as a whole have disgraced themselves through chat blogs just like this. you are arrogant racist simple minded people and please dont talk about fair play. you people have to be caged in at your stadiums because you behave worse than monkeys!!! how many sporting stadiums in australia need to be caged around??

  • Brian McKechnie on January 6, 2008, 11:53 GMT

    I remain a loyal follower of Australian cricket. Though I believe Punter et al handled this one all wrong. I can understand his want to point out "it's not just us", but I think making an example of Bharj through reports and suspension or whatever goes too far. We all saw what happened. No one but themselves will really ever know what was said for sure. I sincerely hope Bharj gets off and stays on for the last two tests. I can't help but like the guy and would hate to deny him the chance to be involved in the Australian team going 18 straight test wins. Lets get on with it then. I'm tipping a 4-0 whitewash. Is it still OK to say whitewash? Thought I'd better check. There's a lot of preciousness getting around in cricket and all are to blame.

  • Nick on January 6, 2008, 11:52 GMT

    As an Australian I thought I'd better present another perspective:

    1. While Australia has some shameful episodes in its history, it also has one of the most tolerant cultures in the world. 50% of Australians were either born overseas or have a parent born overseas.

    2. No racism is acceptable. Darren Lehmann's comments weren't (which is why he was suspended), the Australian fans who called the South Africans kaffirs (sp?) and neither are Harbhajan's comments. It doesn't matter if YOU don't find the comments racist, Symonds does. Black football players in Europe are taunted with monkey sounds and have bananas thrown at them. Some of you may not know this, now you know - so stop saying monkey isn't offensive.

    3. To suggest this is a strategy to get rid of H is ridiculous. If that were the case, they'd target Tendulkar or Dravid or Kumble, not a second tier player.

    4. The umpiring was shocking. Everyone in Australia agrees and sympathises with the Indians.

  • Shashank on January 6, 2008, 11:52 GMT

    It is indeed a pity that for Australians ends justify the means. Despite being strong in the game for so long they are scared of loosing and will do anything to prevent that even if it is not in the spirit of the game. It's time Ponting and Co start behaving maturely and play sports as it is meant to be with honesty and integrity. How can Ponting claim to be honest when claiming a catch but not walking when you clearly nicked one to the keeper. For me it is a dishonest man leading a side that will do all it can to win even if it is not in the spirit of the game. Poor winners Australia!!

  • Spence on January 6, 2008, 11:52 GMT

    it makes not one lick of a difference that the term 'monkey' isnt considered racist in the Indian vernacular. The fact of the matter is, when touring a foreign country your are expected to respect their laws and customs. The Indian team represent their country in this way, as do the Australians when they tour. To an Austrailian, being called a monkey is racist, especially considering their indiginous population and legacy of multiculturalism. It implies that one is inferior based on their skin colour and is the sort of behaviour anyone on the street is likely to get offended by, let alone those representing their country on the sporting field. So to those trying to pass off any intended abuse as simply a cultural misunderstanding, have another look at the laws of the game. Racism has a no-tolerance policy and if something is interpreted as being racist by the majority of Austrialians, IN Australia, then it simply is,and the perpretrator should brush up on what is considered offensive

  • Shashank on January 6, 2008, 11:52 GMT

    It is indeed a pity that for Australians ends justify the means. Despite being strong in the game for so long they are scared of loosing and will do anything to prevent that even if it is not in the spirit of the game. It's time Ponting and Co start behaving maturely and play sports as it is meant to be with honesty and integrity. How can Ponting claim to be honest when claiming a catch but not walking when you clearly nicked one to the keeper. For me it is a dishonest man leading a side that will do all it can to win even if it is not in the spirit of the game. Poor winners Australia!!

  • Jai on January 6, 2008, 11:50 GMT

    Claiming that Australians have previously made racist comments is no excuse for harbijan's comments - they should have been punished too, and in this day and age would be... plus if i remember correctly, Lehman at least had the guts to appolopgise for his actions.

    Telling someone to stop acting like a monkey is different to calling them a monkey based on a phisical appearence due to their racial heritage.. and i find it hard to believe that many indians (who are an intelligent group) would disagree. Calling someone a monkey is not really racist in Australia either, if you are referring to the way they are acting, but if you are referring to the way they look then, of course, it is.

    The Australian's do use 'mental disintigration', sledging, or taunting - call it what you will, but this is a different thing to racial abuse. Telling your bowler that the batsman is having trouble with the bowling and racism are two different things.

  • Zubair Ali - Pakistan on January 6, 2008, 11:47 GMT

    The Aussies are the most rudest and unhospitable hosts. Period. It is in their culture to be rude, brash and offensive at every 2nd opportunity and they DO consider themselves a superior race. I spent 4 years working in Oz and I have first hand seen accounts of racism and bigotry by people from all walks of life - young and old in all environments. They are a naturally offensive people who enjoy demeaning and humiliating people especially from Asia, Africa and the middle east. Unfortuntaly, it is in their blood and everyone knows it (even the English)

    And then they have the cheak to call Asians Racist.

  • Aussie on January 6, 2008, 11:44 GMT

    Quite a few people have stated "why is Symonds upset about being called monkey when he looks like one?"

    Does that mean its alright to call Harbajhan "knobhead" because he looks like one???

  • Mike on January 6, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    Many of the posts from Indian cricket fans are making out that their own team are a bunch of angels. Get real. To compete at Test level you have to be hard and strong. An Indian has been exposed for crossing the line in what has been set as acceptable on-field banter/sledging. He'll have to be honest or do his best to wangle out of it. We, the public may never know what really happened but rest assured the players of both teams know what was said or not said. A trial only reveals what is provable not the truth. As far as the "chip on the shoulder" attitude regarding Australia's success why don't you pay attention to the Aussie fans. We want a team to stand up and give us real competition. Look at the magnificent reception Sachin and Laxman got for their excellent centuries. We respect players who fight hard against us. Lara and Freddie enjoy their time here as the respect the challenge set before them.

  • Koushik on January 6, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    We should wholeheartedly welcome Australia's racism complaint. If India or any other country had started this trend, it would have been seen as whining losers. Now Australia has opened the doors. If another incidence such as Ram Naresh Sarwan happens the other teams will complain in a jiffy and Australia cannot complain about being losers.

    Another important use of this match is that Australian cricketeers will not be severely targetted by the world media. This is not small stuff. The English media have extracted their own revenge but spinning Shane Warne's live in circles for all the the Australian media did to the English cricketers. Cricketers are high testosterone characters and all it takes is to shine some light on their life on their personal lives.

    I hope ICC takes action against Harbhajan. That will open the flood gates. All we need to do is then to use very high powered stump mikes such as the ones used in espionage to silence the Aussies in india.

  • Mahesh on January 6, 2008, 11:42 GMT

    wayne (and several others): you seem convinced that harbhajan did indeed use the word Monkey. Where's the evidence? I haven't seen any so far.

    ...and for those of you suggesting that Monkey is not racist...It was made very clear in the ODI series that it was, indeed racist and degrading to someone of Symonds' background. If Harbhajan diid indeed use the term, he needs to be suspended - the way Gibbs was when he referred to the Pakistani fans as animals.

  • Mike Hunt on January 6, 2008, 11:40 GMT

    Vishwas, So Indians are genetically nice and decent? Yes the Indians were incredibly nice to the Muslims during partition. and you're all so nice to your 300 million or so poor people. Pull the other one mate.

    This blog is a case of monkey see monkey do. Because every monkey here repeats the same ignorant diatribe.

    I honestly thought Indians are supposed to be intelligent. Not in this neck of the woods.

  • rey on January 6, 2008, 11:38 GMT

    Teece...if you don't know that aussie cricketers have made sledging an art form and are proud of it then you don't know much about Australian cricket. And what makes you think calling someone a monkey is a reference to physical attributes of a race?? Methinks it's people like you who would come up with that idea...have you been taught that?

  • Buts on January 6, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    I was going to read some of the comments but after three or four realised that a majority of them were obviously written by bitter, racist people of Indian decent. Here you are telling the journalist not to comment on the case before it has been decided on however you are all concluding that Barji is not guilty. If you are wanting to comment on the matter then surely the journalist is. Surely you can not be serious when you say that Ponting would conjure up this version of events so that Barji is possibly suspended from the rest of the series. CRAZY !! Get your head out of the sand. We are 2-0 up and the world's best batsmen has not really fired yet. Wait for Perth when the Punter his 200 and the Aussies go 3-0 up. I would like to have seen the reaction if one of the Aussies allegedly racially abused a member of the Indian team I am sure that you would want it fully investigated as alot of the comments indicate that as a race you have a massive issue with racism.

  • JUDE on January 6, 2008, 11:36 GMT

    Look at the picture above and look where symonds left hand is : why has no body noticed that The indians have put on an new aggressive attitude in the last 1 day series, and the australians cant take they can only give and most teams are like india - Australians think they must win at ALL cost- if pick the ball of the ground and appeal - get caught in broad daylight in the slips and think there is a chance to be given out just becos i dont want to loose :HA HAHA

  • Riffles on January 6, 2008, 11:35 GMT

    Oh and by the way. The way the indian posters on here are referring to every offender in the past, EG: Gibbs, Lehmann is very interesting. Perhaps your geography isn't all that brillian but South Africa is a long way for Australia and believe it or not we are not the same peoples. The fact you say THEM or the White skinned is also proof that you are racist. I never realised until tonight what an incredibly racist, and moronic view a lot of indians have of the world. See how I say a lot of indians, Not as has been posted numerous times on here ALL AUSRTRALIANS and ALL WHITE PEOPLE. Stop generalising and saying everyone in Australia is dirty and a cheater. That would be like me saying every person in India is a stupid, uneducated, racist loser with a massive inferiority complex. And we all know that doesn't apply to every Indian. Just the majority of posters on here :) See you in Perth losers. :)))))

  • Deamon on January 6, 2008, 11:34 GMT

    The conversation was started by Symonds, showing there was a trap deliberately set for Harbhajan. I say that because events moved too fast, as in a well-rehearsed drama. Within an hour of this "conversation", the umpires had laid a complaint with the Match Referee. It is a great shame and a weakness that some of the Indian media has been too quick to say that Harbhajan has been found guilty - showing a "neo-colonial" mentality, "if the whiteman says something that must be true", thus, "why bother to listen to our fellow-Indian first, before judgment". I had always thought the English language press of India is a serious liability for the country.

  • Raj Balakrishnan on January 6, 2008, 11:31 GMT

    Hey Pakisatni Raja and all other biased paki fans. Your team got thrashed by us in the T20 WC, one day and test series. So do not gloat. We are definitely better than pakistan (the most dangerous place in the world).

  • ANIL BAWA on January 6, 2008, 11:27 GMT

    It is an old Australian policy to intimidate opponents by slanging, sledging or wrong accusations. Andrew symonds and Ricky Pointing are now trying to salvage their reputation by accusing Harbhajan Singh. Ricky Pointing at a press conference had mentioned that batsman should walk when they are out, but he meant that all betsman except Australians should walk. Solving the problem lies with the Australians themselves. They have to accepct that the new breed of Indian subcontinent players will not take sledging lying down and will respond back. It is time that Australian wakes up to senstiveness of the opponents and behave in a manner suitable to their stature before demanding respect form veiwing public or opponents. My advice to Australians is to play the game in the spirit and then see how sweet victories would be.

  • Piyush on January 6, 2008, 11:25 GMT

    11 Indians against 13. It was a no contest.

  • Ali on January 6, 2008, 11:24 GMT

    I'm an Aussie and proud of it, dad with his indian heritage makes it for interesting viewing when the two teams play.Yet while forming an opinion to this monkey comment,can you be sure that Harbajhan supports the view of those senseless fans who wrote the monkey comments for Symonds in Mumbai.There isnt any evidence thats clear cut pointing to Singh as having said monkey apart from the word of the cricketers? Wasnt it Symonds who while being wired up for the 20 - 20 against NZ called Jacob Oram a big bast**rd and all of Australia heard it. Nah! nothing wrong when he said it, well i heard it, but i didnt hear Singh say monkey. Like many seasons ago at the MCG when a sign was being held at the Windies.. Belt That Up Ya You Gingers!! Racists, us Aussies, never!! when we call people by their color we're just joking, we imitate indian accents but dont get offended coz we are funny not racist, love using the F word, coz its our vocab..methinks its time to mic up the stumps and hear truth.

  • Ali on January 6, 2008, 11:22 GMT

    I'm an Aussie and proud of it, dad with his indian heritage makes it for interesting viewing when the two teams play.Yet while forming an opinion to this monkey comment,can you be sure that Harbajhan supports the view of those senseless fans who wrote the monkey comments for Symonds in Mumbai.There isnt any evidence thats clear cut pointing to Singh as having said monkey apart from the word of the cricketers? Wasnt it Symonds who while being wired up for the 20 - 20 against NZ called Jacob Oram a big bast**rd and all of Australia heard it. Nah! nothing wrong when he said it, well i heard it, but i didnt hear Singh say monkey. Like many seasons ago at the MCG when a sign was being held at the Windies.. Belt That Up Ya You Gingers!! Racists, us Aussies, never!! when we call people by their color we're just joking, we imitate indian accents but dont get offended coz we are funny not racist, love using the F word, coz its our vocab..methinks its time to mic up the stumps and hear truth.

  • Merv Hyde on January 6, 2008, 11:22 GMT

    The Indian players have been treated by the crowds and players with great respect on this current tour. They have gone to great lengths to ensure this. The disrespect shown for Andrew Symonds in the ODIs in India, one of the most straightforward and honest players in the game, was not pleasant. I abhor racism, and even more stupidity. Harbajan Singh has shown both. If this was an Australian, our Cricket Board would be doing something about it. To suggest that "Monkey" is not racist when directed at people of West Indian descent is also stupid. Why then is it not used among Asian nations playing cricket? Why only one ethnic origin if it is an innocent term? I don't see the point made by the writer above? Singh has a terrible record as a player in this country - I note that Andrew Symonds had better bowling figures - and now has a tarnished reputation from a moral perspective. It is a shame as Kumble worked so hard to get the right attitude and all his good work was undone.

  • Chooka on January 6, 2008, 11:21 GMT

    Funny to read these comments by people who claim that whats going on is a result of the Aussies being sore losers, last time I looked the AUSSIES won the test match take a 2 to NOTHING lead in the series, RETAIN the Border/Gavaskar trophy and now head off to Perth to make the series 3 to NOTHING. If you cant deal with what the scoreboard says then leave your details and i'll send you a box of tissues to dry your tears!

  • Mukul on January 6, 2008, 11:16 GMT

    Mukul - Are your Australian?

  • Alex on January 6, 2008, 11:13 GMT

    I seriously do not understand what is racial about being called a Monkey. The ICC has some great laws which make no sense at all. The implementation of these so called laws is even more questionable.

    I do wonder if the ICC has a seperate dictionary which defines what is deemed to be racist. For mere mortals like me, mocking someone on the basis of his colour is quite clearly referring to his race. Perhaps there is indeed some race of humans today somewhere on earth called as the monkey race and Mr. Symonds suspiciously looks like them!

    It seems that the decision of what is racial is left to the person who is perceiving that he is being abused. So at the end of the day, it all seems to come down to Andrew Symonds' inferiority complex. If the definition of what is racial abuse is so fluid and superfluos, I can bet my last penny that almost every word that the Australians utter under the garb of that fantastic phrase - "mental disintegration" is racial in any case

  • Riffles on January 6, 2008, 11:13 GMT

    Hahahah. What racist nutcases you indians are. Here is an example of all your comments. Wah Wah Wah Australia do it so why cant we. Wah wah wah. You have just proved by your comments that you are all racist (things such as Symonds looks like a monkey and he looks rediculous and is slime etc). You say Australia are sore losers. Have a look at your poor misguided selves on here flooding this site with your racist ranting and nonsense. Not to mention your appalling grasp of the English Language. Might I suggest that you sod off to a site of your own where people can understand what you are trying to say. By the way, what about your number 11 coming out with two right handed gloves. HAHAHAHAH that was the biggest moment of cheating in SPORTS HISTORY. But poor India is so hard done by. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. You lost the test before he got caught in the slips anyway. Because if a batsmen does not take his mark within 3 minutes he is given out TIMED OUT. So there is a decision in your favour fools!!

  • muz on January 6, 2008, 11:12 GMT

    I can't believe the hypocrisy of some of the responses I have been reading. Why do so many Indian supporters believe their team can do no wrong? Do they never appeal for decisions that they know to be not out? Do they never intimidate the opposition? Should the Australian cricket team and the Australian cricket supporters in general thank the Indian cricketers and supporters in this blog for their self proclaimed high standards, morals and ethics? The assumption that Harbhajan could only have responded to a cruel and horrid taunt by Symonds smacks of self righteous indignation and the visual impairment of an ostrich with its head in the sand. Get off your high horses and own up. Your no better than anyone else. You give as good as you get and this case you gave alot worse. You can try and justify it all you like, but to call a black man a monkey is cruel, hurtful and racist in anybodys language or culture and well you know it. There is no reverse racism, only racism. Shame on you.

  • nfa on January 6, 2008, 11:11 GMT

    ghost of jardine, you write well.And I think you grasped the situation quite well.

    Mukul, bad post.Very bad post.

    Indian fans: concentrate on building a better fans.

    Australian fans: learn to be more graceful and acknowledge that your team acted none better than street thugs today

  • Raghu Menon on January 6, 2008, 11:10 GMT

    To Chhoka, Typical and the rest of the same ilk – Yes! the scoreboard says Aussies won this test match – but frankly would that have been possible without the help from other non playing members of your team – the UMPIRES - all 3 of them. They are the guys who won this match for you and they deserve to be in the annals of SCG’s hall of fame (SHAME). Also they should be decorated with an Aussie medal of honour from your country. Without them you would have LOST this match. They are your true heroes.

  • john vane on January 6, 2008, 11:09 GMT

    I posted a comment earlier about Harbijian being an unusually stupid young man if, after the one day series in India, he doesn't know that 'monkey' is a racial taunt to any black man. I just want to first of all apologise to Harbajain as 'stupid' is not the word I would apply to an intelligent man, perhaps 'niave' is better. But to go to the umpiring issue, historically people always claim decisions go with the winning team - which may be true but will also be inevitable because a winning team has more genuine appeals - if you don't believe me go back and read some old clippings fom the Windies great days or recall the frustrations of visiting teams trying to get decisions in India and Pakistan in the old days when visiting teams always lost. Anyone listening to Tony Grieg's ravings about umpires might remember him pointing to his shoulder when he was caught behind in a test. As to walking Gillie was given out last year by Bowden after missing one - no one carried on about that.

  • 4th ump on January 6, 2008, 11:09 GMT

    I'll offer a radical suggestion- LBW should be done away with as a mode of dismissal or the benefit of doubt should go to the bowling team. And also, all caught-behind decisions should be referred to the 3rd umpire, as should be doubtful catches. Very few people might agree with me but something really needs to be done to prevent a match from turning one-sided because of a wrong decision by an ump.

  • Jason on January 6, 2008, 11:08 GMT

    I am sincerely amazed at the venom that has been presented from much of these blogs which I can only assume are from Indian fans. This is a game afterall. I love watching the passion from the Indian cricketing team. As a proud Ausse I do not see my team as angels and neither should Indian fans see their team as angels. To say the umpires are cheats defies logic. Why? They've had a bad game but so do players. I love cricket and have been watching the game since I was a child, one thing I've observed is that things even out for both sides they always do. It's a shame that racism has reared it's ugly head in this game but if the captains have been instructed to inform the match referee if an incident has happened then so be it. Australians are not innocent and have been embroiled in controversy in the past but that's what it is. The past. This kind of thing must be stamped out of the game completely, no matter who it is. I just hope that calmer head prevail for the rest of the series.

  • vam on January 6, 2008, 11:07 GMT

    Everyone knows that these tauntings and exchanges are not new to the game. But I suppose Punter and his team took it to a new level only because I believe thay feel somebody is breaching thier patented trade mark. Overall, it's a disgrace to see Australians falling to the lowest level of cricket to keep thier record on top.

    Feeling really sorry for cricket and wondering If Australia can peacefully tour India ever after all???????

  • Monkeys and Cows on January 6, 2008, 11:06 GMT

    I wonder what would have happened if it was a women's cricket. Imagine what would happen if some Indian player praised a calm Australian batswomen by calling her a 'cow'.

  • Raghu Menon on January 6, 2008, 11:04 GMT

    To Chhoka, Typical and the rest of the same ilk – Yes! the scoreboard says Aussies won this test match – but frankly would that have been possible without the help from other non playing members of your team – the UMPIRES - all 3 of them. They are the guys who won this match for you and they deserve to be in the annals of SCG’s hall of fame (SHAME). Also they should be decorated with an Aussie medal of honour from your country. Without them you would have LOST this match. They are your true heroes.

  • chooka on January 6, 2008, 11:02 GMT

    Hey BUTTSY .. could you please not bring common sense into this thread for the chance you may confuse some people. However i am enjoying your work

  • Teece on January 6, 2008, 11:02 GMT

    By the way, I wanted India to at least hold on for a draw in this test and wouldn't have minded if they sprung an upset in the series. I also felt a little uneasy at some of Ponting's curmudgenly antics when things didn't go his way (which wasn't often) and even some unattractive exhibitions by Symonds himself. I cheered when Tendulker got his hundred and willed Dravid to break his shackles. My heart broke for young Sharma. None of that changes anything. Racism is not a resort, no matter what it's in reply to or what frustrations have been endured in the lead up. Tony Greig said on Nine that even if Harbhajan called Symonds a 'monkey,' the Australians are whingers and should remember the abuse they've previously meted out to Asian cricketers. Sunil Gavaskar joined in the chorus. This idea of redressing an imbalance of racism is fine, but always seems to involve someone like Gavaskar being prepared to sacrifice the dignity of someone like Symonds. He doesn't deserve it.

  • josh on January 6, 2008, 11:02 GMT

    its not the word "Monkey" thats racist!...its he Venom with which the person ( Indian crowds and H.Singh) meant to say it with....you don't have to be white to e Racist...why can't H.Singh use the same venomous verbal outburst against a Pakistani or Sri lankan Player......I'm sure the results would be devastating!!!!!!

  • Mick on January 6, 2008, 11:00 GMT

    It seems that there may or may not be a case of racism here, or, there may or may not be a case of cultural insensitivity here ( i.e. not realising that 'monkey' is not a racist term in India ). It seems that the only way to put a definitive stop to all these problems is to ban all talk on the field except for that which is essential ( i.e. team instructions and appeals ).

  • jez on January 6, 2008, 10:59 GMT

    You may remember Zinane's response to the sledging from Materazzi in the football world cup. The mind game and pressure is an important facet of test cricket. I enjoy watching the testing. This includes the appealing- the umpires need to have the skill to resist. However derogatory sledging (your mother wears army boots),and racism by intent needs to be exited from the game. Those that defend the present by saying the past sets the precedent are wrong. Batsmen rarely walk and the gentlemanly image of competitive sport is partly myth. Some players need to be reprimanded if proven at fault. The microphones on at all times would speak volumes.

  • bronte on January 6, 2008, 10:59 GMT

    From Australia, I would have liked to see Ponting issue a statement upholding the principle on which the case against Harbhajan was lodged, but now withdraw the complaint in the interests of good relations between the teams and both countries. Cricket's a great game, but its saddest by-product is the bad feeling its often arouses between nationalities.

    That said, I think it's specious to claim that - after all the fuss and television images from Mumbai during the recent ODIs - that Harbhajan could have innocently used the 'monkey' word' (if he used it) in this context. It can only have been taken as a racial taunt, and the generalized counter-charges here about past Australian attitudes and incidents are a smokescreen.

    Racism, sadly, is so often an ingrained human instinct, and it can only be dealt with case by case.

    Having lived and worked in India (even played a bit of cricket there) its sad to see the relations between these two fine teams deteriorate.

  • Arjun P. on January 6, 2008, 10:58 GMT

    Wow!! We have a real debate on our hands here, and judging by the comments it seems that we have touched a real raw nerve. Well for starters, to both our indian and australian fans, the issue we are talking about is, did Harbajhan abuse Andrew Symonds?? Have any of you been keeping up with the facts?? The umpires in their interview are saying neither have heard it. The stumps mic hav not picked up the word monkey either. Channel Nine on their Cricket show confirmed they actually went back to that period of the game and turned up the mic to listen for that word "Monkey".. it wasnt uttered. SO the inquiry is going ahead solely on the Australian team's complaint and their player's evidence. Now how honest are the Aussies..? Ricky Ponting claiming a catch which he obviously dropped..hmmm.What was said? Was it a racial taunt?? what was said prior and after that if it was actually said. and of course im still luving this test series,INDIA VS BUCKNOR/BENSON. Long live neutral umpires

  • m1a1 on January 6, 2008, 10:56 GMT

    My prediction for the next test. Aussies win- Indians blame racist pitch, umpires, weather, food etc., while BCCI maintains that 'Monkey', when said to non whites is actually Hindu for 'What a lovely chap'.

  • Raghu Menon on January 6, 2008, 10:56 GMT

    To Chhoka, Typical and the rest of the same ilk – Yes! the scoreboard says Aussies won this test match – but frankly would that have been possible without the help from other non playing members of your team – the UMPIRES - all 3 of them. They are the guys who won this match for you and they deserve to be in the annals of SCG’s hall of fame (SHAME). Also they should be decorated with an Aussie medal of honour from your country. Without them you would have LOST this match. They are your true heroes.

  • Rishikesh on January 6, 2008, 10:55 GMT

    This is Mr Kesavan mad?? How can you have a headline like..."punish severly if found guilty" the first part of the article paints a picture as if Bajji is guilty...wat proof does Mr Kesavan have??

  • Chooka on January 6, 2008, 10:54 GMT

    Good one skrishnan .. i didnt see a wicket against an umpires name in the statistics when i was reading the result of the Sydney test match when India couldnt bat through less than 2 sessions of cricket. Perhaps if some teams prepared as well as they talked they might at least have some sort of chance of playing consistent cricket instead of consistently looking for excuses!

  • PKD on January 6, 2008, 10:54 GMT

    As usual Kesavan is in knee-jerk reaction mode. In last 15 years Australians mastered and perfected the art of sledging. Constant provocation, back-taking behind the wicket (Gilchrist) - these are part of the cricket when playing against Australia. Since when the sledging, provocation became part of "spirit of cricket"? It's very apparent that the whole conversation was initiated by Symonds while Harbhajan was batting. What did Symonds say? Nice words? Congratulated Harbhajan? Come on! Don't act like a dumb guy! People who follow cricket in regular basis know how Australian players provoke opponent batsmen to death. Australian crowds in stadiums are not nice guys either. South Africa's Makhaya Ntini was a victim of racism abuse and chants in 2005. England's Monty Panesar was similar kind of abuse in 2006. From all these incidents, I got a pretty good idea about the country of Australia - a self-righteous racist nation where players and their fans think that they can do nothing wrong.

  • Karthik Bangalore India on January 6, 2008, 10:53 GMT

    This is why this Australian team can never match the spirit and class of the WINDIES of the 80s. You can win a game and create records but the fans will never get a joy there is always a feeling of emptiness.

    Karthik.

  • Ashwin on January 6, 2008, 10:51 GMT

    PS: Minutes of the Hearing Match Referee: Did you hear anything? Benson and Bucknor: No We did not Kumble: See thats what we've been complaining about!!

  • CLARKEY FAN on January 6, 2008, 10:51 GMT

    omg callin symo a monkey is so offensive, like he had to put up with it wen he went to india n now he gets it here..leave the poor guy alone. harbhajan is just sayin stuff coz his teams losin...like seriously he should be suspended!

  • Aaron on January 6, 2008, 10:49 GMT

    What's the big deal about calling someone a monkey? Get over it. I call my mixed-race niece a monkey all the time. She doesn't get offended. They are all grown men and the aussies are very quick to dish it out. They have to be prepared to take it as well.

  • scott on January 6, 2008, 10:46 GMT

    Re: 'Typical' comments.

    Thank goodness someone has some sense and is not so blinded by bias as to overlook racism!

    With all the incidents India has been involved in recently, it's time their supporters considered their own teams behaviour rather than Australia's!

    I suppose Indian fans believe they are being strong and forging a nations identity? As someone said earlier in this thread, an eye for an eye makes the world go blind!

  • Iron-pyrites Mike on January 6, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    There has been unacceptable behaviour from sections of the Australian public and members of the Australian cricket team in the past. What is interesting though, is the response to that behaviour, as it apparently differs greatly to the official and unofficial response to similar behaviour in India and now in Australia. Having watched the recent one day series in India, the current test series and the associated controversies, I was surprised to read reports that the Secretary of the BCCI, police and ground officials were effectively banding together to create the impression that the victim was lying and nothing ever occurred- even after match referee's reports, witness statements, photos, ICC reports and the anti- racism code being flashed on the scoreboard, provided ample evidence to the contrary during the Indian incidents. It seems that the Indian team may be adopting a similar tactic now. Surely a more responsible approach would have been to, as Symonds himself wished at the time of the original incident, quietly address the matter, weed the perpetrators out, and resume a good game/series. What has happened instead is the ramping up of racially charged headlines, articles and opinions, as can even now be seen with even a cursory scanning of news articles and comments, which reached a low point in India in the disgusting and embarrassing images of Indian supporters as arch racists doing the rounds of the world's media and have now continued onto the field with Singh being reported and charged in the current series. I don't for a moment believe that the actions of these people in any way reflect the majority view of Indian society, but as we all know, the actions of a few can stain the reputation of everyone. So I wonder, is it really helpful to take the schoolyard 'They did it first.' defense, without referring to the courage the Australians are showing in actually addressing the issue both in professional sporting ranks and in terms of crowd behaviour? Certainly, the recent Australian report into racism in sport highlights some disturbing and embarrassing realities, but they should be applauded for doing something other than attacking the victim, denying the obvious, or resorting to childish justifications. So I respectfully ask, when will we see a similar report from India, or indeed some sign that this problem is being taken seriously? My guess is not very soon, but in the meantime, shouldn't we be trying to bridge the widening divide between two great sporting nations, rather than provide more ammunition to those who would rather appeal to our lowest instincts than our highest? Blame the racist aussie team, the racist umpires, the racist crowd, the racist weather, the racist pitch etc., but perhaps, when you’ve run out of excuses and the decision is handed down by the ICC, favouring either party, you’ll have the integrity to look upon the actions of those you defend with a little more honesty and objectivity.

  • R SATHYAMURTHY on January 6, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    The answer to this is very simple. Ban sledging. Then we will see how many matches Aussies win with their on field skills. Ban all types of talks and violations of that rule to be punished with life bans. Why this Symonds guy always crying? We are from the land of the Mahatma, where is the Mahatma in Australia?

  • Teece on January 6, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    Dario- 'Indians in Harris Park and Westmead (Sydney's West) have been routinely targeted.' The ghettos of Westmead! So, do you work for Microsoft or IBM? Had trouble in the office water cooler queue? Posters' arguments are following a set of patterns. 1. Mukul is part of a clandestine Australian propaganda machine; he dared to suggest an Indian player should be held to international cricket standards. 2. Any team touring Australia is pummelled by a firestorm of on-field expletives worse than being trapped in a basement with Billy Connolly after a night on the scotch. And how craftily the Aussies disguise the abuse! 'Good areas Hoggy!' or 'Down Haydos!' are coded insults designed to break down the Indians. 3. Calling someone 'monkey' in India, although comparing them to a primate based on the physical attributes of their race, isn't racist. Funny how Ponting never gets called Monkey. Or any English players. But the West Indian team did. So did Symonds.

  • George George on January 6, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    In reply to Sam's posting...Mate, one can certainly win against a playing 11 but certainly not against 13 or 14 if the third umpire can be counted. As far Mukul Kesavan goes, mate it is 2008 now not pre-1947, please do not stoop like this!!

  • Vishwas on January 6, 2008, 10:41 GMT

    It is very unfortunate to see an Indian writer taking the side of those silly double standard Aussies who know nothing but winning hook or crook. What Mukul Kesavan has blogged leaves a bad taste in the mouth. He has to remember that when Indians are one of the most racially abused people in the world, how can they do the same to others, especially Aussies who try to abuse each and everyone at the drop of the hat. Mukul Kesavan seem to be hypnotized by the Aussies. Else how can he let down our own countrymen who have a great history of being nice to others. He must feel ashamed about making such comments. Please Mukul, if you can't praise the Indians, atleast do not deride them. Infact, the aussies must be charged for having levelled stupid and baseless allegations against Indians. Ponting has to be banned for an year or two if Bhajji is proved innocent, which he is.

  • Fredrick on January 6, 2008, 10:41 GMT

    I looked at this site to have a bit of a read and.......difficult to belief that some of what is said is not pure comedy.You can't be serious with what you say-And will Symonds come to realise how offensive his 'black-face' on-field persona is. Athletically gifted he may be but black Americans in particular would look upon him with great bewilderment. Is this guy taking the mickey or what? He seems more caricature, a cross between sideshow Bob and Al Jolson, on steroids-who wrote this crap-- and yes Im sure if you could do eye to eye wuth Symonds you''d say it- gutless wonder and yes monkey is ok now - thanks for that I'll keep that in mind- the indian fan's book of acceptable behaviour See the way the things happened. It looked even umpires were suitably bribed by aussies. Aussies are lame and insane that everyone knows.- well this takes the cake...well we won't generalise now will we??? bribery - oh yes last 16 test wins have been achieved with bribes , not runs, wickets etc

  • Karthik on January 6, 2008, 10:37 GMT

    To Typical: I dont think Lehman and Gibbs were not punished, I said that no South African or Australian called for life time bans. (also Gibbs called them bloody animals which you can check on youtube) I agree though 'monkey' is a racist term and many Indians are disgracefully racist towards black people which is something that we need to deal with!!!!

  • Ashwin on January 6, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    OK couple of points here - everyone on this board who refers to "Australians" and complains about their behavior is a racist by ICC definition. But then again - that does not make it untrue. Now if I called Ponting an Aussie Cheat - that would be racism - but not necessarily untrue.

    Also, whether a phrase is "racist" is to be read from the intent. If Bhajji's intent by using any phrase was to insult Symond's geneology, he would be racist. If his intent was just to return some compliments from Symonds - that would not be racism. The same with the crowd incident - I do believe the crowd targeted Symonds for special attention - but it was not aimed at Symonds's family tree.

    ICC needs to get mature about defining truly what racism is. Wonder how anyone in a seat of judgement can determine what is fair given such a slack definition from ICC.

  • Dan on January 6, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    I'm an Australian and I just want to point out that this issue has flared up out of all proportion mostly because of White Australia's guilt over the treatmeant of its indigenous people throughout history. It's politically incorrect in the extreme to say a bad word about the Aborignal people here, almost as if this will help atone for centuries of mistreatment. Unfortunately Harbhajan got caught in the middle of it, and he surely doesn't understand the delicate politics of racial issues in this country. I hope for his sake he is simply given instructions to keep his mouth shut rather than banned.

  • cheers on January 6, 2008, 10:27 GMT

    Ok,It is NOT yet proved that he said something, if he did then yes he should be punished but till then barking dogs must stop. To me it looks like if Australian team says derogatory - its called just a game but if Indians reply to them it will be 'racism'. I think this time OZzies have found their match. BTW anyone can win a match when you play when you have umpires on your side.. Sportsmanship goes to hell.Hypocrite Mukul.

  • Kunal on January 6, 2008, 10:27 GMT

    I think MOM of today's match should have been shared between Bucknor, Benson and the 3rd umpire. I also think Ponting is trying his best to remove bhajji from the rest of the matches, since punter is bhajji's bunny, and is scared to admitt that he can't read bhajji. I think this must be the case since only Ponting, Hayden and bucknor's blue-eyed boy Symmo, and NOT the umpires heard what Bhajji said.

  • Ghost of Jardine on January 6, 2008, 10:24 GMT

    India Australia clashes tend to bring out the worst of both cultures. Beyond the minutiae and legalisms of l’affaire Bhajji, this bigger picture stands out.

    The typical Indian cricket fan is loud, petulant, fickle and mindlessly jingoistic, as the horrendous crowd disruption in losing matches (e.g. WC semifinal at Eden Gardens) will testify. The repeated bottle throwing and heckling during the West Indies series happened with India in comfortable positions, suggesting nothing but cavalier racism. Look at the juvenile sniping between Indians and Pakistanis all over YouTube. The saving grace is that, with a few exceptions like Sreesanth and Bhajji, the Indian team consists of much better human beings than their average fan.

    How can Aussies take parochial satisfaction in purely cricketing dominance when some of their icons like Warne and McGrath come across as graceless boors and lowlifes, and the national team is led by a guy with the personality and morals of a street thug? Australian cricket gives free expression to an in-your-face, winning-is-everything jock culture that takes locker room etiquette as the standard for public behaviour. The unreflective hypocrisy makes it worse. No reasonable person can find much difference between calling an opponent a monkey or calling his mother a whore, and those who are whining about Symonds’ treatment – himself an ugly, overbearing jerk in the same league as Andre Nel – will do well to remember that the loquacious skinhead Lehman was given a hero’s sendoff on his retirement, and Greg underarm Chappell remained an icon. Spare me the whiny sanctimony.

  • Vijay Belapurkar on January 6, 2008, 10:24 GMT

    Aussie are poor and disgraceful losers. Win at all costs is the motto that is ingrained in their psyche.To me it appears to be a ploy to unsettle Indians and especially Ponting's tormentor Bhajji. Bhajji is no saint but not stupid enough to react unless under gravely provoked.Aussies are the master sledgers but think that they have the right to define the limits. If cricket to survive these incidences, there should be total ban on any form of sledging racial or otherwise and may be technology in terms of on-stump microphones should be used to catch the culprits. Vijay Belapurkar Sydney

  • typical on January 6, 2008, 10:23 GMT

    venkie, what a small bitter loser you really are. you do your people an injustice here. you want respect then you have to earn respect and quite frankly too many racist remarks for anyone to have earnt respect here, you should be ashamed of yourselves you do you country a disservice, need to get that colonial thinking out of your system, you have had your freedom since 1947 and only now have an ecconomy to sustain yourselves. what have you been doing for the past 60 years time to grow up and get over it. sri lankan cricketers have far more grace than the indians with exception of the little master. they are a pleasure to watch and I am glad the indians lost this match for the spite and bitterness of their supporters.

  • Phil on January 6, 2008, 10:23 GMT

    I haven't read the comments yet, but I will now. In the meantime, I would like to offer the author of this article congratulations on one of the more mature articles written on this particular subject.

  • Subbaraman on January 6, 2008, 10:23 GMT

    Thanks to people support from people like Mukul Aussies will continue to show their wretched and racist behaviour.Keep doing the good work Mr Mukul

  • Buttsy on January 6, 2008, 10:21 GMT

    Umm, just wondering from the tone of all the comments above... who won the test? Who has now won 16 in a row? Thank goodness the Australians have India in the next two tests so that the record can be broken!

  • Jon on January 6, 2008, 10:20 GMT

    A lot of this racism stuff happens in football. Samuel Eto'o was subjected to monkey-chants, and he spoke out a lot against the removal of racism from football. It is sad to see that it is being seen increasingly in cricket, which was previously considered a gentleman's game.

  • kaushiq on January 6, 2008, 10:20 GMT

    Australia have won, they are certainly happy but i dont think they are satisfied. So many mistakes and so many silly decisions have doomed teh game. i odnt think Buknor made so many mistakes in his life that he did in this match. Australia are a power house and they might be trying to use this to their favour. they do things that are not supose to be done and im sorry to say that the image Waugh created is being destroyed by Ponting. Steave was fare and square ( i presume)and like him Ponting also wants to win but he will do anythign to do that. The appeal Gilchrist made was a shocker. unless i saw it today i wouldnt have believed that gilchrist could do that. I am a die hard fan of australia but im not liking whats happening. its ruining the game. to me media is to be blame also. the way they create the tension, this series became very prestigious and everybody wants to win. this became a issue of ego, fair competiveness is giong out of the game. its a shame. it truely is a shame.

  • Fly on January 6, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    I have played cricket all my life in Australia. I have been called white, black, can't bat, can't bowl its in the mind of the player and the players to play cricket. Not saying that personal abuse does not happen but sledging has been happening since the day it was born. What you say about Australia is true! in the case of sledging. It is not personal nor has it ever been. Remember what happened in the 1970-80's when Australia toured India and Pakistan the umpires and the playing surface was against the touring sides whether that be Aust, NZ or England and the home side won. There was a public agreement before this tour between Aust & India that there would be no racial taunts on or off the field including spectators. Cricket is the game of gentlemen and that is the way it should be played. So lets back to basics of cricket and enjoy the game, both spectators and players alike. Umpiring decisions will always be that, decisions, right or wrong.

  • skrishnan on January 6, 2008, 10:17 GMT

    when Indian appeal they are fined for excessive appealing. when they do the same umpire goes by their verdict. We lost the match.why because of bad and favorable umpiring towards Australia. Not only for this series and against India. It all happens with all countries. All countries especially Asia should refuse to play with Australia either at Australia or in our country. then only International Cricket council will take action.

  • Chooka on January 6, 2008, 10:15 GMT

    Funny to read these comments by people who claim that whats going on is a result of the Aussies being sore losers, last time I looked the AUSSIES won the test match take a 2 to NOTHING lead in the series, RETAIN the Border/Gavaskar trophy and now head off to Perth to make the series 3 to NOTHING. If you cant deal with what the scoreboard says then leave your details and i'll send you a box of tissues to dry your tears!

  • Bala on January 6, 2008, 10:09 GMT

    Mukul, if you can only write half baked , nonsensical, self degrading ( self meaning one's own country) articles like this, for heaven's sake please stop writing

  • typical on January 6, 2008, 10:08 GMT

    I have read these replies and what a load of bitter racist lot you really are. for a start to those who claim lehmann didn't get penalized in 2003 he lost quite a few matches in the Australian summer series and a no of w/c games. he least had the courage to admit and take responsibility for his actions and apologized.

    but I seem to remember Pakistani latiff racially abusing Gilchrist, get reported and like a sneakily school boy denies, by unintelligible tape so let off. Gibbs calls pak supp bloody monkeys and guess what he gets penalized for RACIAL ABUSE imagine that, now you state being called a monkey is not racist when one of yours do it. DOUBLE STANDARDS. racism is not confined to color of skin read the laws of the game you will find it includes more than color. India started the racial abuse in odi had the nerve to deny until proven with photo. where is the integrity there. racism is racism take responsibility for your own actions here.

  • venk on January 6, 2008, 10:05 GMT

    Hi,

    I think mukul kesavan has bad experience in india and do not like the indian cricket team. Indians by birth are ethical and have a well built family orientation and have been suppressed by others till the beginning of this era includling people like Mukul who criticize their own brotherhoods not looking at both the versions. He talks as if he was there in the middle knowing exactly what has transpired. Indians Now the modern 21st century indians are brave, bold, challenging and exciting in which ever field they are be cricket or computers. So they give back when ever someone tries to suppress or tries to retard them.. I am no racist nor for racism but criticizing the indian cricket team and esp. harbajan solely is not fair. IF the word " F__k" used by ausssie cricketers is a slang and sledge the " Monkey " word by any indian standards is not at all discriminatory... Mukul should understand that the "English " is not the first language of the indians....

  • rabi on January 6, 2008, 10:04 GMT

    the point is that...it takes 2 hands to clap...if the aussies want to indulge in sledging(which they have every well justified) in an gentleman's game then they should sledge others as much as they can take sledging

  • MadanBanda on January 6, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    Who is Mukul Kesavan to suggest that if found guilty, Harbhajan should be "preferably" banned forever? Is he the one who has written the ICC code of conduct for such issues? I believe that Bhajji, if PROVED guilty should pay the penalty as laid out by the ICC. Having said that, no stone should be left unturned in going after racist comments uttered by Australians themselves. Secondly, Kesavan says "If he clears him, there’s a real chance that on-field chat will be systematically monitored in the future". I say why shouldn't it be monitored even otherwise. It would expose all the dirty and vulgar talk (conveniently described as sledging) by the Aussies.

  • Out of here Kesavan!!!! on January 6, 2008, 10:02 GMT

    I think Mr.Kesavan better buy a ticket to Australia soon and seeing his attitude towards the Aussies I think he'd be more popular there.

  • K.Hari Bhaskar on January 6, 2008, 10:02 GMT

    Australia may have won the Sydney test but its a shame the way they play their cricket.Unsportmanley behaviour,shameful banter and cheating when required and they call themselves world champions!I do not support racism, but Aussies complaining,i think its a joke!!

  • Amol on January 6, 2008, 9:59 GMT

    Mr. Kesavan, You suggest the sternest punishment for Harbhajan if he is found guilty. I don't agree with you there, but that is not what I dislike about your article. What I hate the most is that you suggest no punishment for Ponting and co. if their claim in this matter turns out to be untrue. All you say in that scenario is that international cricket will be in trouble.

    Why the double standards Mr. Kesavan? How about calling for a 4 match ban on Ponting if he is guilty of misusing ICC laws to intimidate opponents?

  • Denzil Rodrigues on January 6, 2008, 9:59 GMT

    Hello Mr. Mukul Kesavan, Just a quick check, have you applied for residency in Australia? Let me tell you, you sound like one of them already, always finding fault with others and glossing over their own mistakes and incompetencies. If you continue in this fashion you should be a true Aussie by the time the next Indian tour happens. All the best.

  • Prasanth on January 6, 2008, 9:57 GMT

    No question of punishment after todays match since the people in u r anvil should be Micheal Clark and Ricky Ponting...along with the whole of the aus cric team except johnson and gilcrist...who lacks ethics and sportsman spirit along side with the old man steve buckner(who should retire now as you see him panic while the not out catch of Dhoni went to the third umpire... God Knows does their ego or fear to lose jobs ,plays here since they are not even ready to check with the third umpire and the video reply with the decisions in such a sensitive series. Also the new stars like Micheal Clark should not expect scene like this, should be punished along with Ponting, who is experienced should be a role model like we have Lara and Tendulkaer even Ganguly went off silent ...Gavasker pointed out Micheal Clark's behaviour with a genuine appeal yesterday should also be noted here....

  • Muhammad AMan on January 6, 2008, 9:56 GMT

    I dont know what the problem is with these aussies and english. Why do always they object on on field chats? They themselves can do what they want. I can remember the words which WASIM said, "Cricket is ruled bye the Whites." they dont know sportsmanship.

  • John on January 6, 2008, 9:55 GMT

    The problem with people and cricketers from the continent is that they want to play in the big league but don't or can't understand that it's a furnace and only the strong survive.That wouldn't be a problem if they didn't give as good as they got then tried to plead dumb/racism as a defence.

  • venkie on January 6, 2008, 9:54 GMT

    See the way the things happened. It looked even umpires were suitably bribed by aussies. Aussies are lame and insane that everyone knows. Symonds uttered something about Bajji's performance on that particular innings repeatedly and Bajji need to clarify that to him..hence it was made a complaint on racisim account by Ponting ?? When this aussies gonna learn professionalism ?? Are they Aussies or Pussies ?? If Aussies are scared of facing Bajji, there are lot of ways to defend...why this stupidness ? IMO, Symonds need to be banned if Bajji is punished...I would dare to call Symonds as "Donkey Mouth" in Perth if he plays there..!!!

  • Raghu Menon on January 6, 2008, 9:49 GMT

    I am sad to say that your post lacks the basics of a good journalism. It does not give a balanced view of the situation. Considering Bhajji has denied all allegations, and the on field umpires have also not corroborated with Ponting’s complaints, how can you apportion blame on Bhajji, at least that’s how you article comes across. You do not present a balance view in your article by arguing the case for and against Bhajji. (1) If for argument sake we assume Bhajji said something to Symonds – but what instigated it? Knowing Symonds it is hard to believe he is such an innocent party and have not started all this. All this happened while Bhajji was batting fluently and in between his innings he thought “Oh! I have not racially abused Symonds till now – let me go and do it” (2) On the other hand if we find Bhajji is totally innocent and Ponting and Co has made false allegations - what then? Will it then open doors for filing a case against Ponting and Co for making false allegations?

  • Greg on January 6, 2008, 9:47 GMT

    What seems to escape most posters is that it does not matter if the person making the racial slur does not think it is racist in nature, it is whether or not the person at the end of the abuse thinks it is.

    Indians may not think calling a black person a monkey racist, but everybody else does and that is what counts.

  • sam on January 6, 2008, 9:47 GMT

    india are the cry babies,is it the umpires fault you can never win a series in australia

  • Jay on January 6, 2008, 9:46 GMT

    I think these Aussies aren't satisfied with winning game after game. Now their hypocrisy has taken a new turn by 'framing' Harbhajan. I think this is Ponting's plan as Bhajji has already scalpled him more than one time. Aussies are the biggest racists in the cricketing world and everyone knows it. According to me whatever is said on the field remains there and shouldn't be made public. If Harbhajan called Symonds a 'monkey' then its not a racist taunt. The Aussies are being jackasses and this is even childhish compared to the jelly bean incident in England. I am sick and tired of these Aussie cricketers' way of treating other teams when they have been achieving everything in their favor.

  • MadanBanda on January 6, 2008, 9:46 GMT

    Who is Mukul Kesavan to suggest that if found guilty, Harbhajan should be "preferably" banned forever? Is he the one who has written the ICC code of conduct for such issues? I believe that Bhajji, if PROVED guilty should pay the penalty as laid out by the ICC. Having said that, no stone should be left unturned in going after racist comments uttered by Australians themselves. Secondly, Kesavan says "If he clears him, there’s a real chance that on-field chat will be systematically monitored in the future". I say why shouldn't it be monitored even otherwise. It would expose all the dirty and vulgar talk (conveniently described as sledging) by the Aussies.

  • Brown Man on January 6, 2008, 9:41 GMT

    as long as there are subservient worms like kesavan, the white man shall forever taunt us.

  • T Dawg on January 6, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    I think that sledging with minor comments is okay but there should be no offensive language on thee field it is unnessecary but if Harbhajan did say Monkey look at the footage of the Mumbai crowd, that is racism and although australia dish it out they havent been proved to be racist also and i mean no racism or discrimination here but the Indian team have done nothing but complain since they came to Australia like Symonds was out and Bucknors a dickhead but Sharma didnt need to hit tha ground and stomp his feet like an angry baby.

    If Harbhajan said something racist, he should be banned for life fullstop

  • Abrem Sakar on January 6, 2008, 9:31 GMT

    Firstly your whole premise is wrong. So what if Symonds was called a monkey? Monkey is NOT used in a racist manner in India. Kids call each other monkey when teasing. "Bholo, bhaloo, bandar" all = monkey. Secondly, Symonds looks like a monkey, it is simple fact. The Indians have found a way to tease him and it really gets to him; so be it. Symonds simply can't tkae it and so the Aussies are claiming "racism" becuase of its emotiveness and subequent press it has conjured up. Finally, and let us not forget, all the swaering the Aussies do on field and have done in the past. They're getting a bit of their own back and can't handle. Tough luck. (In case you are wondering I am NOT Indian but an Aussie)

  • Peter on January 6, 2008, 9:30 GMT

    This has been another hard-fought India-Australia series and as an Australian I have been embarrassed by some on-field behaviour I have seen from my national team (and not for the first time). However, what has been even more embarrassing is the justification of poor Indian behaviour using the logic that "the Australian's must have started it". Some of the posts above contain rants seldom seen outside fanatical religion. If you were to believe the posts above - Australian's always sledge, Australian's are racist, Australia always cheat, the umpires and the ICC favour Australia because they are white (!) and most importantly no Indian player would ever, ever do anything in the least bit naughty unless they were forced into it by a nasty Australian. It is time for Indian fans to realise that while Indian cricket may be a religion, the men who play it are not Gods and will not always be pure in their words and actions. If you believe any differently then you are very naive.

  • Anonymous on January 6, 2008, 9:28 GMT

    Every time an Australian accuses anyone of racism his words are seething with hypocrisy. They have been and are the worst offenders in the cricket world, players and crowds. Ample evidence has been provided on this by previous posts. I'm sure harbhajan in innocent. Also in the future i think few of the Indian players should wear hidden mikes in the next test so they are able to reveal the true nature of the aussies. Hypocrites, cry babies and bullies to the core.

  • Arvind on January 6, 2008, 9:27 GMT

    None of us knows what happened in the middle, but I have to say I am not a fan of Symonds' behavior in the field. In fact barring a few exceptions, most Aussie cricketers appear to be very arrogant and insensitive people. Hopefully the cricket team does not represent the majority of Australian people.

  • wayne on January 6, 2008, 9:27 GMT

    Cannot believe the Indian people on here saying that monkey is not offensive in their country. Talk about missing the point totally. If its racist here then its a racist comment. If an aussie cricketer said something in your native tongue which was racist, it would be racist, doesnt mean it is in English. Deal with it, Harbajan should know better being a seasoned international cricketer. Face it, he talks the talk, he should walk the walk

  • krishna on January 6, 2008, 9:26 GMT

    Australian cricketers are like indian politicians, who can degrade themselves to any level for their own benifits...Their behavoiur and appeals during the second test is a clear inication for that... The Bajji incident is well planned effort by aus's to gain in second tests after struglling 2/3 days in the field

  • neeraj chauhan on January 6, 2008, 9:24 GMT

    With grief I say, todays test in sydney India vs Australia, was a disgrace on Crciket and all due to Australia's poor, unfair and corrupt attitude. The last day, especially, clearly indicated of a conspiracy by the Australians and the umpires against India in a mere motive of winning the test series and making a 16 consecutive test wins? I could not imagine Australiand could disgrace themselves to this level. Andrew Symonds batted at least three time and Michael Husssey twice, but thats not the atrocity that happened. Rahul Dravid was given caught behind shockingly, when his bat was no wear near the bat. Saurav Ganguly's catch was more than doubtful and Michael Clarke let the australian cricket dwon by even claiming that he caught it, R.P Singh was adjudged LBW when the ball was going dwon the leg. This is not a win for the Australians, this was the most pathetic display of cricket and umpiring that cost India the game.Indians showed a lot of character today and therefore are winners.

  • Ganesh on January 6, 2008, 9:24 GMT

    Australia is one of the most racists countries in the world. Just note what happened to the Muslims in Sydney at the beach, and what happened to Dr Haneef.

    Ponting and lot are the worst hypocrites ever. They blame others for racists taunts, when they themselves have dished it out. They say they have Cricket Code of Conduct and that they follow it (Steve's big talk), yet you can see Ponting appealing for a catch though he had floored it. And what about Clarke's non-catch and Ponting sign to Benson that it was a catch. Hypocrites of the first order. India does not need treat them with kid gloves, and Indian should stop berating our own players, as many of our journalists do, just because they have an inferiority complex when they stand next to their white colleagues. Other than Gavaskar, none of the other commentators during this test really came out to bash the umpires. Shastri was his usual none self, and that epitome asinine comments, Harsha Bogle, made me cringe with shame.

  • sid on January 6, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    hey mukul .. might wanna read the article written by Peter English on cricinfo .. It would give u some insights on the how the games been played over the years! When you pass a judgment of who did wrong and what punishment he should get just make sure you got ur facts in place! Else along with being associated with the game in 'a non playing way' .. kindly also get associated with the game 'IN A NON WRITING WAY!'

  • Dave on January 6, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    Sore losers all of you!!!All good and well to say calling someone a monkey in India is not racist.I call my children little monkeys all the time in Australia but to call a black man a monkey that just proves someone is racist, uneducated and just plain stupid. Darren Lehmann did make an unbelievably stupid comment a few years back and although it was directed at no one and accidently heard he was banned for 7 games. Bhaji deserves to be made an example of the same way Herschelle Gibbs was in Pakistan.

  • Smartypants on January 6, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    Indian players need a tutor who can teach them the subtleties of English language. Instead of calling someone a "monkey", but asking "why are u behaving LIKE a monkey" would not have been deemed as Racist. That way u are not refering to a person's appearance, but rather to his/her behaviour. Clever eh!! And to all the Aussies fans out there.. isn't it great to have 13 players on the field. Cheers mate!!

  • Pakistani Raja on January 6, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    As expected, India is very well on their way to a 4-0 bashing, and the Paki fans are fully enjoying every moment of it.

    Moreover, the 'salt to wounds' are the dubious umpiring decisions, so it’s like defeating them and ‘rubbing it in’.

    Way to go Australia....... and Steve Buckner too ;)

  • Sanjeev Sharma on January 6, 2008, 9:21 GMT

    Mukul, I admired your comments, unfortunately, till now. How can you ignore that entire faculty of international cricket acuses aussies for sledging, taunting and making racial comments! Their arrogance, impunity and audacity is not only very well known but also acknowledged and endorsed by their criketers. And you are advocating for harbhajan's suspension! These are double standards and biased views Mr Kesavan. Kindly rectify them or pull them out from this blog. Before you point fingers at Indian cricketers, you should rather delve into the slime that australians have pumped into this game. We can easily figure out on TV the constant muttering, sledging and taunts of aussies. Look at Ricky the great! I've never seen a captain as cocky and arrogant as he is. Aussie victory means nothing to me and most of the Indians. Its a victory for Benson and Bucknor. Even partially blind and deaf men can do better than them...

  • krishna on January 6, 2008, 9:21 GMT

    Australian cricketers are like indian politicians, who can degrade themselves to any level for their own benifits...Their behavoiur and appeals during the second test is a clear inication for that... The Bajji incident is well planned effort by aus's to gain in second tests after struglling 2/3 days in the field

  • Shreyas Shah on January 6, 2008, 9:20 GMT

    As for Symonds' comments on the 20-20 win celebrations, obviously he doesn't know what cricket in India is all about. This just belies his cultural ignorance. I myself don't regard the win as much, but the Aussies are certainly arrogantly proud of their records. I admire The Australian public, in general, is much more knowledgeable of the game than the Indian, and appreciate good cricket, and the team itself could learn something from them; learn to appreciate the game for what it is than adding parameters to the game like who 'talks' better, in addition to who 'bowls, bats, fields' better. And I don't think Ponting would be above taking every opportunity of get Harbhajan 'out of the way'.

  • Karthik on January 6, 2008, 9:15 GMT

    1st: Let the hearing take place, let what was said be made public and let Bhajji be punished if need be...but be 'banned forever'? Mukul is a white man's puppet for saying that.

    2nd: I disagree with many people on this post as I think 'monkey' is racist and Bhajji should know that. He is no angel just youtube him and you can see some of his actions. The truth is though is that he is not as bad as Nel, Ponting, Prior and most of the Aussies its just that he is not WHITE. 3rd: Is Black c--t or black monkey less racist? Mukul did you call for McGrath and Lehman to go down forever!?!? No the Aussies wanted there racist taunts left on the field and Stump Mics turned down! Gibbs called the Pakistanis animals! you can see it on youtube!! How dare the Aussies be involved in such double standards! They intimidate to win and I genuiely believe that they hold sway over certain Umpires! Good god Mukul I can't believe you have a platform to spread such disgusting propoganda

  • Bis on January 6, 2008, 9:15 GMT

    A few points to make:

    1) If Harbhajan apologised straight away after making the remark that should be taken into account and his punishment should be commuted.

    2) Australians do have a long history of racial taunting but the fact is they now have a black player in their side so obviously they can't be as racist as before. That is a good thing and shows the benefits of multiculturalism - we all learn from having people of different ethnic backgrounds in our midst. There is undoubtedly a racist mentality in India in certain quarters against people with dark skins - note how Harbhajan would never call a white person a monkey but has no qualms about doing it to the only black person in the Australian side. Sorry that is not on.

    3) The underlying problem (which I diagnosed in an earlier comment which this blogger censored) is that Harbhajan, like Sreesanth, talks too much. You can talk the talk when you can walk the walk - or else best leave your actions to do the talking.

    3)

  • Vinayak Khadye on January 6, 2008, 9:14 GMT

    Absolutely rubbish. At all cost Harbhajan should be defended. Australians play cricket to win at any cost. Their words cannot be trusted. Hypothetically even if Harbhajan called Symonds Monkey, he should be defended by Indian board. In the past match fixing scandal Australian board defended Warne and Waugh, so why not defend Harbhaja.

  • Suresh on January 6, 2008, 9:13 GMT

    today the sydney test result, the shame for the entire cricket nation because very poor umpiring,the aussie victory is not true champion side they are cheating to take victory like ricky ponting charcater is not good in the field he is also cheating for ganguly wicket. Ponting you know.. this is the gentlemen game .....

  • Matt on January 6, 2008, 9:11 GMT

    After reading a lot of the tirades informing one and all how racist everyone but Indians are it's quietly amusing to remember the two men most reviled and despised by Indian fans over the last 5 days, Bucknor and Symonds, are both black skinned. Think about it!

    Fanon 7 hours, 22 minutes ago: That post is a disgrace and has no place being on a public board such as this.

  • George George on January 6, 2008, 9:09 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a worse sore loser than Steve Waugh. The Aussies should stop chattering if they can't take a chat back. Remembering an incident where Shane warne sledged Makhaya Ntini calling him John Black to which the bowler, who was batting with an injured knee, responded "Minus the Black please". No one ever made a big deal out of tit. Then what is the big deal here? The Aussies while they play a tough game are the worst ambassodors for the game. Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson should be stood down at the end of this test. They were so below par!! Indians should not feel bad about this loss, as the game can be won against an 11 not against a 13. At least an honourable draw has been taken away from them by the umpires!!!

  • Sheyas Shah on January 6, 2008, 9:08 GMT

    As for the monkey chants in Wankhede, I do not think that those are entirely racial. Symonds is widely called a monkey in India, and that's because of his appearance on field. Racial abuse takes some awareness of the racial history of the blacks, which is not so widely known in India as to qualify the chants of a whole stand as racial abuse. I myself think Symonds looks like one of the Vaanar Sena (Monkey Army) seen in the illustrated children's Ramanayanas. Heck, even my mother calls me a monkey when I don't shave for months on end, and when I do, feels relieved that I finally look like a 'man's son'. That's not racist! I won't back Harbhajan categorically. He's no saint and we all know that; and he may well have called Symonds a monkey. But Aussies are surely a bunch of cry-babies and hypocrites. They know how to work the rules well, and the methods are nothing but underhanded.

  • Peter on January 6, 2008, 9:06 GMT

    I love the passion you guys exude. God, if we Australians took it as seriously as you lot, we'd wipe the floor with you on the field instead of just regularly beating you easily. All I will say is SCOREBOARD, 2 - nil, (and counting). Out of 1 billion people you can't even get eleven decent cricketers. Next time try sending your male side to play. You have 3 decent consistent cricketers; Kumble, Dravid and Tendulkar. Would anyone here honestly put money on the fact that Australia will NOT record a 17th consecutive test win.......beware, it's played in Perth where the ball actually bounces above your ankles.

  • Deepak Bhakoo on January 6, 2008, 9:03 GMT

    In the Indian context, the Aussies abuse Michael Clarke countless times every day, by calling him by his nickname "Pup", which is derogatory in the Indian context, but OK with the Aussies. I wonder why is there so much fuss about the word "Monkey" in the Aussie context (whether its been used by Bhajji or the Aussies are just trying to trap him by falsely alleging so remains to be seen). In the Indian context, it is not as derogatory (if at all it is) as "Pup".

  • Rahul on January 6, 2008, 9:03 GMT

    I wish Indian players lodge complaints against the Australians from now on. It would be nice to see the "chatter box" Ponting getting banned for once. The Australian team has no rights to call anyone racist. Guess the author of this article has forgotten the in famous Daryl Lehmann incident, where he abused the Sri Lankans at an earshot from their dressing room. The fact that one player in the team is so very careless with his behavior shows how rotten the Australian team really must be. Ponting has dug a grave for his own players, because now all teams will happily lodge complaints against them. Should be just a matter of time before the Australians will have 30 odd players banned.

  • raju on January 6, 2008, 9:02 GMT

    There was a comment about Gichrist being a gentleman. After his appeal against Dravid - where he was the best judge to see that the bat was at least 10 inches away and behind the pad, he cannot still be standing on that pedastal. Winning is the only thing important to Ausies (a good quality), but not by using such means and especially in teh Harbhajan-Symonds case, it seems that they are trying to avoid facing him.

  • Raj Balakrishnan on January 6, 2008, 8:59 GMT

    The charge of racist slurs have been made against Harbhajan because Ponting is not comfortable playing him and wants him out of the series. India should have walked out of the test the moment these cooked-up charges were leveled against Harbhajan. The biased umpiring had made things even worse.

  • ANAND on January 6, 2008, 8:57 GMT

    Bhajji is a great man this is not a great mistake enen the umpires are on the aussies side ... even symonds had accpted tat ... Bhajju was to be warned not should banned ... remember he is a world class cricket player ..Pointing luck is ur side continue and symonds ur playing a great cricket but pls be honour in dismissal like indian team especially SACHIN AND SOURAV

  • Rajesh on January 6, 2008, 8:56 GMT

    The ICC is run by the whites. They still think they rule the world. And in India we still have people like mukul who still think India is still ruled by the white man and pander to thier every wishes. It is time that the the Indian Media supports the Indian players like how the western media supports thier teams. The asussie media creates stories to put pressure on the opposition like Yuvaraj case last tes. ( Malcolm Conn ex). Most likely the aussie have done this to get Harbhajan out of the way for the remaining of the tests. Ricky Ponting is scared of facing harbhajan and feel this is the way of putting pressure on him aussie are sore losers, moaners and poor sports. They expect the opposition to play fair but they dont play fair. If the aussie were to be banned for using bad language, the entire team would be banned.Probably using the F word is acceptable. ICC should start using thier old name -IMPERIAL CRICKET CONFERENCE. Darren Lehman must be laughing his guts out.

  • john vane on January 6, 2008, 8:56 GMT

    I find it hard to understand some of the foregoing posts. For what it's worth Harbijian must be an unusually stupid young man if, after the one day series in India, he doesn't know that 'monkey' is a racial taunt to any black man and shame on those posters who deny that it was used in that way, particularly the person who put in the same post that 'it is not insulting and anyway he looks like a monkey'. You sir are a classic racist. Out of interest, for those who claim that Australia felt a need to upset Harbijain, apart from his remarkable first series just how effective has he been in one day and test cricket since against Australia? In addittion Lehman was banned and fined the maximum available at the time, he admitted he did it, and apologised and at no stage denied it. Not quite the same. The umpiring mistakes are not Pontings problem just as the Ganguly not out in the First Test which no one has even mentioned - Kumble's fault.

  • Supratik on January 6, 2008, 8:56 GMT

    Looks like you have copped it this time, Mukul apart from a couple of jokers here who go by the name of Adam and Sunny or is 'joker' a racist taunt! Its very important to know what Symonds kept saying to Harbhajan before the sardar lost his cool. Secondly while 'monkey' is a word not acceptable to the western world, so are expletives like 'c__t' and 'ba__rd'. Even words like dick and prick are not acceptable to us in the sub-continent. Shall we then put all these words in the unacceptable category? If yes half the Australian team will remain banned for life, if umpires and the referees don't come to their rescue, which is usually the case as numerous guys above have pointed out. Heated exchanges happen and when such atrocious decisions are being doled out in favour of the Aussies, India will feel aggrieved, especially with a spineless BCCI sleeping over it. Secondly, racism by whites against others has been there for centuries. Others now know how to give back, hence tough luck.

  • Raj Balakrishnan on January 6, 2008, 8:54 GMT

    Australians have won, thanks to Benson and Bucknor. Clarke is a worthy successor to Ponting, he is as good a cheat if not better.

  • Wicky on January 6, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    Well, another Aussie incident! First of all the world cricket must understand that Australians get way with anything in the modern cricket game and get it the way they want. If opposed it will be turmoil. Ricky Ponting and the Aussies have a very illustrious history of sledging and they are no rabbits at that. The problem is when they do something wrong the ICC and the match officials will defend them for example Slater and Venkat incident nothing happened to Slater. Why...? Why does all the Umpiring errors go in Australias favor irrespective of the opponent? These are interesting questions to answer but in my point of view I don't think Harbhajan is wrong. Aussies should have thier fair share of the pie otherwise Australia will win most of the games not by competing but by doing 3rd class stuff on and off the field like this. Well Done Harbahjan

  • Chris on January 6, 2008, 8:52 GMT

    Interesting. I've read many of the comments here, many of which are racist, many of which miss the point. It is always sad when people try to make excuses for those in the wrong. If Harbhajan did use the term 'monkey', he is guilty of racism and should be dealt with accordingly. There is no misinterpretation, or cultural difference on this point. Anyone with a knowledge of the context in which those taunts were made and their history should understand their connotations. Many have pointed to double standards. They may indeed be right, maybe not, depends on which issue. The point is though, the treatment of others previously bears no relation to the current incident. If Harbhajan is found guilty, the punishment should fit the crime, regardless of how others have been treated previously.

    Perhaps the most important point at this stage is that Harbhajan has not been proven guilty of anything. Until such time as he is, we should all reserve our judgement other than in general terms.

  • Calexico on January 6, 2008, 8:51 GMT

    As an Australian I hadn't yet realised that we are all racist cheats who are jealousy of India for some reason. If you maintain that the term 'monkey'has no racial connotations go ask one of your Fiji-Indian brothers how they feel about being called Jungle Monkeys by the Indigenous Fijians. Ignorance is no excuse. And can someone please find Mr Bucknor and Mr Benson and explain that they are never ever allowed back on a cricket ground. That was the worst umpiring I've ever seen - and that includes in junior cricket where the coaches used to umpire.

  • Matt on January 6, 2008, 8:51 GMT

    It was refreshing to see an author look at both sides of the story instead of going down the monkey isn't offensive to Indians path. If the Indian players/cricket public are unaware that Symonds regards being called a monkey offensive they are not being honest it has been well and truly publicized.

    I think Mukul Kesavan is being too harsh on Harbhajan when suggesting he should be rubbed out for good - if he is guilty. I think a 5 match suspension - the same as Lehman’s - would suffice.

    I do not understand how so many people can be in denial that anything an Indian does can't be wrong. So far in this thread I have seen, Americans, Australians, Sth Africans and the British accused and abused seemingly in the interests of defending Harbhajan.

    Fanon 7 hours, 22 minutes ago: That post is a disgrace and has no place being on a public board such as this.

  • Ben on January 6, 2008, 8:51 GMT

    I find it ridiculouus when someone has been reprimanded in there own country for racial taunts (monkey)then has the hide to repeat these racial remarks in australia and use the defence that "in india monkey is not a racial remark". surley after the first wrong doing, he should learn.

  • Rajesh on January 6, 2008, 8:50 GMT

    I wonder what kind of sportsmen the aussie are. A batsmen openly come in the press and says the he was given not out when he was out. I wonder What Ricky Ponting would have to say if any Indian batsmen had come and said the same in the press or the Umpire had come form the Sub continent. This Harbhajan incident is the lates in line of Aussie gamesmanship. After seeing the news that they have hired a top lawyer to support the match refree stregnthens this view.After seeing the last days Umpiring and the kind of doubtful decisions, the dice is heavily loaded against the Indians. Playing 11 aussie players are bad enough but 13 is difficult. But along with the 13 if U have to play the match refree, the TV umpire and the ICC it becomes impossible.

  • Sujith on January 6, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    I think the self deprecating 'indianness' of kesavan has got the better of him. He has disappointed this time around by missing the plot. Cricket is a game which has it's roots in players who were gentlemen first and then anything else. No wonder we have umpires and not referees; who will show red card or send a player off. The so called competitive spirit of games like football and rugby seem to have corrupted these founding principles of the game. All these instances of Bhajji, Symmonds, McGrath, Jayasurya all are signs of rot setting into a game that many of us liked for it's sophistication and finesse. I don't think the time is too far when many of us will have 'Cricket RIP' in our heads. In his effort to sound holier than thou or i need to sound fairer than fairer we have missed the point here. I feel probably it is time for us to either reevaluate cricket the way it is now or find another sport that still values human dignity and appreciates spirit to win not being obsessed

  • Kanwarjeet on January 6, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    Why do I hear Mukul working as a servant in an Australian household - Je Sahib, aaya Sahib,,,,

  • addy on January 6, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    to hell with you the writer of this article, who gave you the right to judge Bhajji ? I believe that you are one of those kind who still want to be a licker and a slave of those who ruled us. I am proud to be a Indian and support Bhajji i know he has not said what is so called rasist. So better get your self some sleep then think and then write. I wonder how can cricinfo let some one like him write though.

  • anon on January 6, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    its just the aussies u guys have to barage on here evry team does it and u just dont hear about becoz the aussies dont complain much like all the other teams.

    To complain about this and bring it public it must have been said and we will see wat happens tonight at the hearing.

  • natzaw on January 6, 2008, 8:44 GMT

    by taking any measure( including technology help) must clear the dirty air which is no good the game

  • KJ on January 6, 2008, 8:44 GMT

    I was of the view that Ponting is a great batsman....now I can confirm that he is an even greater liar and a cheat. As mentioned by a few people before me, Harbhajan was not the one who strated it. Getting back to someone I hate with a passion..ponting the idiot...what about appealing and pushing the umpires to give Ganguly out when he clearly knew that Ganguly was not out. how weak is Ponting when he tells the umpire "I think he is out" when he clearly has seen that the ball touched the ground before clarke caught it..and then the 'Looser' Gilchrist appeals when Dravid defends a ball outside off stump, with his bat behind his pad and nowhere close to the ball...the Aus cricket team shame on you !!!

  • Notacrybaby on January 6, 2008, 8:44 GMT

    You indian supporters are all so brave from the sidelines arent't you, you complain about McGrath from the past and similar, but not a few months ago indian supporters so gracefully act as monkeys in reference to Symonds, and Sreesanth who wasn't even part of the team abuses him from the sidelines. Don't talk about hypocrites. It's happened, it's ugly, EVERYONE is guilty, I can't even imagine what is said on the feild by all players, but don't get high and mighty, this is a different world to days gone by and you can't justify yourself by crying 'the aussies did it blah, blah years ago', if aussies are so bad be bloody better than them.

  • kaushik on January 6, 2008, 8:43 GMT

    Now that india has lost thnx mainly to poor umpiring decisions,senior players like kumble,dravid etc should pull out of the series and let players like raina,kaif, etc take their places in the side. This way they can boycott the way the last match was officiated and also allow future players get some experience and the sponsors cant do anything about it...that is the ideal way to boycott.

  • raghu on January 6, 2008, 8:43 GMT

    If Harbhajan is not found guilty BCCI or Harbhajan should SUE the Aussie team for harrasment. Obviosuly Ponting did this to mentally shake up harbahajan.

  • Tony on January 6, 2008, 8:41 GMT

    OH Whats the point in all this?? Its just one of those things where millions of people know what acutally went on but theres just nothing you can do about it. Pontings tactics have stooped low at times but my god, he really has gone lower than dirt this time. This all started when they sore losers got knocked out by india in the T20. If it had been Pak or SA or England etc to knock them out, they would have been the ones on pontings collection of voodoo dolls. It was 13 versus 11 on that field at the SCG. Australians are the most racist ppl on the planet. If you dont believe me, ask the Aboriginies. If anyone should go to court it should be MArk Benson. To see wether he's come into a lump sum of money recently. What happened about a section of the crowd calling Monty Panesar a "stupid indian"? Anything? I say let Ponting win. Because when they finally do come down and lose their No. 1 spot, ALL OF THIS will come back on them. remember; no such thing as No. 1 Forever

  • Jason on January 6, 2008, 8:41 GMT

    After seeing ponting appealing to the umpires even after the ball touched the ground really puts question marks on the integrity and honsty of this australian team. And ponting should be the last person that benson should use to make decisions.

  • Sunny on January 6, 2008, 8:41 GMT

    Mukul Kesavan: A poor article, lacking objectivity. If the umpires did not hear anything, who are you to presume Bhajji's guilt? Your presumption of his guilt does not reflect well on your reporting skills.

    On a lighter note, the theme song for this SCG test should be 'With A Little Help from my Friends,' for Aus got plenty (I counted at least 8 dodgy decisions against India) from Bucknor and Benson. Symonds, who is of West Indian descent, can thank the West Indian umpire, Bucknor for 3 lives.

    On a philosophical note, to triumph without honour is to win without glory. Roger Federer and Tiger Woods are winners who win AND win admiration for triumphing with honour. The Australian cricket team may (one day) aspire to join their ranks. They have fallen in the eyes of many for their cheap behaviour and tactics. India held their heads high and their honour is intact. On that score, Aus have really 'lost' in the broader sense - in the hearts and minds of the fans of the game.

  • kaushik on January 6, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    Now that india has lost thnx mainly to poor umpiring decisions,senior players like kumble,dravid etc should pull out of the series and let players like raina,kaif, etc take their places in the side. This way they can boycott the way the last match was officiated and also allow future players get some experience and the sponsors cant do anything about it...that is the ideal way to boycott.

  • greg on January 6, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    i think a lot of the indian supportes here and the team itself need to get into the 21st century! racism in any form is simply unnaceptable. to say that monkey is not racist is a cop out. did harbi not notice the uproar in the recent one day series in india??? sure australia don't have the best record but they get crucified by the press here when they do and have subsequenty cleaned up thier act. if i called anyone a monkey here in aus i wounld be charged with racial vilification and brought before a judge, look around you people, racisim in all its forms is ugly, unnaceptable and causes countless wars and deaths around the world. i applaude ricky for making a stand.

  • jaytara on January 6, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    Mr. Kesavan depends on Anglo-Saxons for his bread and butter so entirely understandable that he should make these sanctimonious comments. As for Symonds, he has obviously been set up by the Aussies as their front-office man of colour to be their "martyr" and unfortunately some of our Indian players have basically been entrapped in this web because of their big mouths. However, i am absolutely sure that if Harbhajan said something, and no one will know for sure except himself and Symonds exactly what he said,he was goaded into it by persistent sledging from the Aussies as a whole with Ponting,Hayden,Symonds himself, the goody-goody Gilly and the angelic looking Clarke being the leading practitioners of that not so gentle art.

  • himanshu on January 6, 2008, 8:39 GMT

    I strongly contest views expressed in Mr. Kesvan's article. The point is how do you define racial abuse in a cricket match especially when there is a lot of banter on the cricket field between players. So if Harbhajan has called Symonds a moneky, how is he being a racist as opposed to McGrath calling a specific Srilankan player a 'black monkey', well that is definitely being racist. If Harbhajan is guilty then he should be punished but then the ICC should do a thorough investigation in the matter and all those players who in any match have abused a player in any way should be barred. Shouldn't the ICC look at the history of the Australian team and how they behave on the field? Let them pick up the footage of a few recent series between Australia and India, in which all current players have played and penalise all the offenders. If racist remarks have been made in the past then all instances of the abuse should be punished. Mr. Kesvan should also consider the context of the events.

  • sun on January 6, 2008, 8:38 GMT

    I am convinced that Mukul is a looser. It's fine to punish Harbhajan if found guilty. But who is punishing Australian who do not know how to take things that they are good in throwing at others. Tit for tat is no excuse. But somebody has to set a standard to fix their derogatory remarks towards other. Mukul is just in a wrong side, always write something which is not important to the spirit of cricket. It's amazing Cricinfo is tolerating this stupidity.

  • Charanjit on January 6, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    I think you need to have better writers on cricinfo than Mukul Kesavan. He might be pretty good at writing fiction but you have to address this issue in the context of cricket.

  • Short Memory on January 6, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    Nice balanced post. Keep up the good work. Many of the replies seem to be oversensitive about their own perceived slights, while dismissing the possibility that anything they say could be offensive to others. Racism of any kind from any individual to any other individual is wrong and must be stamped out of sport. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. In Australia we call each other "boy" as a term of endearment, but to an African American the term with its connotations of slavery is extremely offensive. The onus is on the speaker to be aware of this and avoid it. After the undeniable racist taunts in Mumbai, calling any person of black skin a "monkey" is unequivocally a racist taunt. Maybe he did it, maybe he didn't. Regardless of his innocence or guilt, the act itself must be recognised as reprehensible. Nor can we punish the complainant if they are unable to prove their accusation. PS to hate all Australians is by definition to be a racist, no?

  • MachMan on January 6, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    Mukuk, You are a disgrace to the writing community and cricket in general. The least you could have done is wait till the facts came out. Noooooo but you couldn't wait could you? It was too juicy for your self righteous ego monging fingers to do the typing and press the "post" button. Shame on you mate. Having said that racism has no place in sport. But I truly think that paaji munda called Symonds a monkey in the "abhey bhandar chup bait" sense and nothing else. You don't think Harbhajan knows the N word? Perhaps Bhajji was complimenting him.. Bhandar.. oh great hanuman who has lifted mountains and slayed dragans kind of monkey. Ever thought about that?

  • Amit on January 6, 2008, 8:35 GMT

    A great test match between just got over at the SCG, and I must say watching the game I am not surprised that Australian team reached a milestone of 16 consecutive test wins. This is "Largely" contributed to some poorest possible umpiring decisions specially from Steve Bucknor (who unfortunatley for India is regarded as one of the best umpires) some of the blunders such as giving Symonds not out when he was clearly out edging a ball to Ishant sharma, then Dravid was given out when the ball had clearly deflected to the keeper through his pads. These sort of umpiring blunders can cause any team a test match and no doubt Australia have reached this unique feat twice in 4 years. There is a lot of media hype over racism taunts from Harbhajan, but noone seems to care what ignited those comments if at all there were any. There is clearly a case of double standards from ICC where Australian players get away with biggest of scenes and other countries specially from sub continent are penalised.

  • Paul on January 6, 2008, 8:34 GMT

    Bottom line in all this is that retaliation against sledging by using a racist remark is unacceptable in any form of sport.

    What has gone on in the past may have been tolerated then but in this age of politically correct sport racism is not tolerated by any sporting authority.

    Look at the last Sri Lanka tour of Australia and the outcome was there was no raising of racism issues between the two competitive teams.

    So in the case of all the sportsman that are currently playing the game if they have a specific opinion to the character of the person they are competing against that is questionable keep it to themselves and play to the best of their abilities as the actual performance usually wipes out any non racist name calling.

  • Aspi - Sydney on January 6, 2008, 8:34 GMT

    Since when is the word "Monkey" a racial abuse? In school it is very common for kids to call each other "Hippo", "Ape" , "Piegeon". These words never have been regarded as racist so why "Monkey". Symonds has sledged many players & is now getting it back & cannot take it. The enquiry shd find out what led to the exchange & who started it. Reminds me of an earlier exchange involving Mc Grath & Sarwan. We all know what happened then & McGrath came out looking so foolish. The only way to stop this nonsense is to ban sledging all together. Bet you the ICC does nothing & puts it in too hard basket.

  • Stupid on January 6, 2008, 8:34 GMT

    Many (i have seen have) written that "if he has called him monkey it does not matter because i certainly wouldn't have taken it to heart". This is the most stupid comment that you could post because it doesn't matter wheter YOU mind it or not. Cricket is a gentlemen's game and it has no room for Indian emotions and bollywood stuff.

  • UB on January 6, 2008, 8:33 GMT

    Bring on the microphones... Aussies will be the worst hit because of that. Their competitive advantage will be lost forever - their invincibility has as much to do with the mastery of sledging as it has to do with the skill and preparation for the game.

  • Raghu on January 6, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    Who are famous for sledge? Why? Why? Can't they just shutup and play. Why stretch the limits, As Indians we cannot speak polished - so are we more wrong for that weakness. However great "most" Aussies are as cricketers, sport spirit wise are sick. And they complain. Look at the appeals today, Yes India do appeal but I never seen them preach others. Look at how Sangakkara was got out, Look at Dravid. I curse somebody terrible in the Aussie, If indeed clark catch of Ganguly was untrue - i felt a guilt in clarks face - It wasn't clear and they way they were appealing none of the fielders could be trusted. Why the hell umpire was asking the fielder, If he is clear out, else third umpire and not out. For me that is fair, Especially after how the great symonds was played with 3-4 life(s). And this author asks get tough. I hope he would excuse the aussies for their sledging - gamesmanship - we un polished indians get banned. Wah!!

  • JM on January 6, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    Sure, racism should not be tolerated.

    But abusing fathers and mothers and sisters is worse in the Indian context. Why should that be tolerated?

    Every rule in the ICC book is for the whites. Calling someone a monkey is worth a life ban but abusing religion, father, mother, sister and everyone else as the Aussies do is honorable!

    Well done ICC!!!!

  • Christopher Wynter on January 6, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    If Harbhajan hadn't touched Lee on the bottom in the first place, Symmonds wouudn't have said anything and Harbhajan wouldn't have said whatever he said.

    What precipitated the whole incident has been overlooked.

  • madhuprakash on January 6, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    Dude, firstoff, I never understood how a monkey is referred to a particular race or racial discrimination. Leave all that for a moment.

    How can you call indians esp harbhajan or sreesanth and others lack sporting spirit or they are racists after you have watched how aussies have gone beyond all this to appeal for Dravid's catch in the last innings of the 2nd test. Guys, how cleary they lacked that spirit when they went for that appeal!

    and how can a player (be it captain) command(not even demand) an umpire for declaring OUT against the opposing team player. I am talking abt how Ponting almost forced Mark Benson to declare Ganguly out!

    Last but not the least, "Is it not so strange for batsman begin the sledging part? think guys!

  • chris on January 6, 2008, 8:30 GMT

    damb you indian make any excuse possible... it must be a cultural thing because your cricket team does the exact same. every time they lose its someone elses fault, always the umpires. cricket is run by asians so how can you claim racism?? besides in australia india, pakistan and sir lanka are not cosidered to be asian but middle eastern or mediteranian. so your asian excuse doesnt work. after the incidents in india during the one day series harbhajan would have known exactly what he was doing was wrong. india got away with it once and ponting wont let them do it again. india is just as bad at sledging as australia or any other country. look at their games with pakistan!!! make all the excuses that you like, your team isnt of the quality that you wish which they have proved time and time again. support your hockey team, at least they are good lol

  • Harry on January 6, 2008, 8:28 GMT

    I think the "monkey" tag has to do with the white lip cream he puts on - anyone who puts that looks funny. However if the comments do have racist connotations then a ban for couple of games seems the right way to go and not the lifelong one ban recommened by the author.

  • itsgriffo on January 6, 2008, 8:28 GMT

    Much of the above commentary to to my mind confirms the outrageous hypocrisy of most cricket supporters. The Australians have for a long time been labeled the bad dog and, certainly, they are no saints. But most supporters seems to lose sight of the fact that just about every cricket team behaves abominably relative to the saintly standards expected by supporters. To suggest Australia, India, Pakistan or whichever team are sledgers/hypocrites/etc while the other team is innocent is ridiculous. I don't believe that cricketers' behaviour has degenerated to such an extent that they would falsely label a player for purposes of strategy, as Kesavan suggests. Harbhajan has been caught out because awareness has risen and the rules have been tightened. Let's hope the same applies to whomever racially abuses next, whatever the colour of either parties' skin!

  • allcricketnews.com on January 6, 2008, 8:27 GMT

    The big class bully is being brought down, and is making a lot of noise. Looks like the Aussies cannot quite stomach the Indians changing the rules of the sledging game. It looks like the Aussie players believe the Indians have to follow a set of 'rules' that the Aussies are familiar with while sledging. Calling someone a monkey is not necessarily a racist comment,and as a matter of fact, most of the Australian team deserve to be called monkeys for their boorish on-field behaviour as do a few in the Indian team. There also seems to be an alarming pattern in the way a majority of wrong decisions down under go against India. Hussey, Symonds and Ponting were all given multiple reprieves, while on the final day, both Ganguly and Dravid were given out unfairly. While the odd wrong decision here and there does even itself out, this was not the case here. If the match was in India, and the Aussies were at the receiving end, one wonders how the Aussie media and the ICC might have responded.

  • Rekha Kulkarni on January 6, 2008, 8:26 GMT

    Why dont you ban Mr. Mukul Kesavan from cricinfo for ever? He seems to be bribed by the Ozzie's left and right !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John DeCosta on January 6, 2008, 8:26 GMT

    Dont you think it's aussies tactics to target an important member of the opponent team(Harbhajan in this case). When people can accept Michael Clarks words for taking Ganguly's catch, why can't they believe Harbhajan's words for not making any racist comments? If aussies do it, it's all right, and if Indians do it it's a lie. Aussies may be a good team, but they are very bad rold models for the game. They want to win by any means possible. They crib like bitches.

  • Scott on January 6, 2008, 8:25 GMT

    To all the Indian Supporters out there saying the Aussies are crying and having a sook - Who's the ones crying now?

    If an Australian racially abused someone from Asia, then it would be World War III.

    Why should we sweep it under the carpet? Believe me when I say that Racial Vilification was brought in not for our benifit thats for sure.

    What Harbhajan did was wrong and should be punished accordingly.

  • blogger on January 6, 2008, 8:24 GMT

    why is everyone making a fuss of what bhajji said here? the australains are very famous for their comments but no one went to court. so why should bhajji be taken to court? this is so unfair.

  • Ethan Hunt on January 6, 2008, 8:23 GMT

    Boy are you honest! But have you ever played against an "Auzzie" as they call themselves. The whole business of sledging can be attributed to three teams England, South Africa and Australia. It is a culture cultivated by them. And quite honestly, Ricky Ponting, Michael Slater, Andrew Symonds et al. are no fair men. It does not mean that the rest of the world take their example. Australia have had a real good track record in International cricket but that is no reason why they should command respect otherwise. Frankly, they are not the best ambassadors of the game. You really want a turn on it, go read Allan Donald's autobiography.

  • Raghu on January 6, 2008, 8:22 GMT

    I feel Symonds is monkey-ish. In my known family circle any body acting hyper, Intolerable are asked to stop monkey behavoir or so. Sincerely as an Indian I see no racism there. I didn't even know until all this hoopla that he is aborginal or something. Its his antics, his comments (about T20 celebrations, we have one sport as religion and feel good what his problem-jealousy). Whatever with today's test realized once more there is no fairness its (no god made world, Just man made world) - the manipulator wins. And they writes history How can umpiring mistakes be so once sided. We indians as in general are no smart ass as these aussies about hook or crook wining. Hook Crook is one reason I hate them. Look at how Ponting appealed catch of dhoni when later replays showed he didn't catch clean and they talk as if they are elite can do no wrong - supremcist something I respect Hayden, Lee, Hussey - there is a reason. They "seem" fair-balanced, Others are just crooks. And they preach othe

  • VIDHYADHAR on January 6, 2008, 8:22 GMT

    AUSTRALIANS ARE SORE LOOSERS IN THE GAME OF CRICKET. NO-ONE WILL CONSIDER THEM WORLD CHAMPS BY THE WAY THEY WON THE 2ND TEST.I THINK RICKY POINTING , SYMONDS, GILCHRIST AND CLARKE HAVE LEAST SPORTSMANSHIP IN THE CRICKETING WORLD. SHAME ON AUSTRALIAN CRICKET HARBHAJAN , INDIA IS WITH U TO FIGHT AGAINST DIRTY AUSSIES!!!!

  • Chill Pill on January 6, 2008, 8:22 GMT

    I have read many of these comments. Honestly, get a grip on life people. Too many people are jumping down Kesavan's throat. Do you read the papers? Is there more happening in the world than what seems to be consuming everyone?

  • arun biligere on January 6, 2008, 8:21 GMT

    Anyways who is this mukul kesavan? Is he a Australian or an Indian..It doesn't matter though..Cricinfo should stop these people writing columns..I totally disagree with him..

  • trev on January 6, 2008, 8:21 GMT

    You guys in this forum just cant handle the fact that the Aussies are just so good.Indian cricketers are so girlish and week minded they can never dominate them. Im a Brit but i admire just how good they are and they are great sportsman .Indiana just dont understand the aussie way.

  • ravikumar,jakarta on January 6, 2008, 8:20 GMT

    Better call off the series if the whole series is going to be played in this fashion.Australians playing their entire 14 11+ three umpires.Congrats to aussies.Only you can win in this pathetic way.

  • allcricketnews.com on January 6, 2008, 8:20 GMT

    The big class bully is being brought down, and is making a lot of noise. Looks like the Aussies cannot quite stomach the Indians changing the rules of the sledging game. It looks like the Aussie players believe the Indians have to follow a set of 'rules' that the Aussies are familiar with while sledging. Calling someone a monkey is not necessarily a racist comment,and as a matter of fact, most of the Australian team deserve to be called monkeys for their boorish on-field behaviour as do a few in the Indian team. There also seems to be an alarming pattern in the way a majority of wrong decisions down under go against India. Hussey, Symonds and Ponting were all given multiple reprieves, while on the final day, both Ganguly and Dravid were given out unfairly. While the odd wrong decision here and there does even itself out, this was not the case here. If the match was in India, and the Aussies were at the receiving end, one wonders how the Aussie media and the ICC might have responded.

  • Kumar on January 6, 2008, 8:19 GMT

    Some of the comments on this page prove one thing and one thing only - Indians are the most and intolerant people in the world. That's why so many have to leave the own country to live in Australia. The comments here are also extremely racist against Australians.

  • BooM on January 6, 2008, 8:19 GMT

    Firstly, India is a country who prays god Hanuman (Money avtaar). EVEN IF harbhajan said him "monkey" why did he take it as a racial abuse and not as a praise? Secondy, If "monkey" is an racial abuse according to Symonds, then PETA should step ahead and charge him for being the actual racist against amimals!

  • Ethan Hunt on January 6, 2008, 8:18 GMT

    Boy are you honest! But have you ever played against an "Auzzie" as they call themselves. The whole business of sledging can be attributed to three teams England, South Africa and Australia. It is a culture cultivated by them. And quite honestly, Ricky Ponting, Michael Slater, Andrew Symonds et al. are no fair men. It does not mean that the rest of the world take their example. Australia have had a real good track record in International cricket but that is no reason why they should command respect otherwise. Frankly, they are not the best ambassadors of the game. You really want a turn on it, go read Allan Donald's autobiography.

  • Aditya Mohan on January 6, 2008, 8:17 GMT

    Kesavan- quit pandering to the goras. The Aussies have shown that they really can't stand up to challenge. BCCI should call off this tour if a) Bhajji is punished for saying anything to Symonds 'the Angel' b) These 2 umpires are called to stand in any other match and c) I would send a second string team to Oz to register their protest.

  • kaushik on January 6, 2008, 8:16 GMT

    Now that india has lost thnx mainly to poor umpiring decisions,senior players like kumble,dravid etc should pull out of the series and let players like raina,kaif, etc take their places in the side. This way they can boycott the way the last match was officiated and also allow future players get some experience and the sponsors cant do anything about it...that is the ideal way to boycott.

  • Vaibhav Mankame on January 6, 2008, 8:16 GMT

    Dear Mr. Kesavan.

    Let me tell you that I have the Privilidge of playing against some Aussies and they are sore losers. As far as calling anyone a Monkey goes, I don't understand how that is being racist no matter what lineage Symonds comes from. We(humans) are all monkeys afterall. In any case this game of cricket makes a rubbish about being gentlemenly on the field. As long as there is no punches thrown at each other, I think some name calling should be left alone. This complaining etc. and having a Match Referee for crap like this is silly. The match referee should really be more proactive and be able to alter the incorrect umpiring decisions right away to keep the game in correct balance. His real job should be to override the blatant errors that Bucknor, Benson and the TV umpire made. We have reached an age where we need to grow out of the old colonial thinking and make the officials role in Cricket more practical to ensure a fair contest for the paying public.

    Regards, VM

  • Narendran on January 6, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    did he walk or what?not at all!!the same is with symonds! and then,those two pathetic decisions india got in the last innings! what does the author have to say about them??it would be much better if the indian authors stopped this bootlickin business and started talking some sense.remember,we are an independent country and have every right to fight back if we are insulted.there is just no necessity to fall at their feet for every thing..and there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to go about carrying this inferiority complex.

  • Rajesh Udayamurthy on January 6, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    If calling Andrew a Monkey was raciscm what did andrew call Sreesanth a goose in Press? what was that

  • George W. Bush on January 6, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    Racism in any form can not be tolerated. The Aussies are past masters of racist attitude/ behaviour; yet they go away scot free every time. I say - give it back to them. If what Bhajji is alleged to have commented is true, then I say "congratulations" to him.

    The only regret I have about the Indian crowds exhibiting racist behaviour during the Aussie tour of India, is that they targeted Symonds, who is a native Aussie and not one of those white convicts (excluding Gilchrist) who have no qualms of dishing out racist comments while being unable to take any themselves.

  • Sridhar on January 6, 2008, 8:14 GMT

    Just search for "Micheal Slater Sledging" in Google and you will get all the evidence for this "thou holier than thee" HUMAN's double standards. He is not fit to talk about sledging and abusing.

  • Rishi on January 6, 2008, 8:14 GMT

    Well.. there is no conclusive evidence to confirm that Harbhajan called Symonds a monkey. you all know that so we will never know...the only thing i want to say is.. Calling a black man black can be considered racism...but the only way calling any man monkey can be considered racism is if that man is a monkey... Indian have given the name Tiger to Ganguly lovingly. why has he not lodged a complaint with anyone about racism... What’s so bad about calling anyone a monkey. Are they so bad.. Definitely not in India...there is a monkey god in India... If I was a monkey, i probably would have filed a formal complaint against Australian team for racism..

  • Harry on January 6, 2008, 8:14 GMT

    I think the "monkey" tag has to do with the white lip cream he puts on - anyone who puts that looks funny. However if the comments do have racist connotations then a ban for couple of games seems the right way to go and not the lifelong one ban recommened by the author.

  • Mike Hunt II on January 6, 2008, 8:14 GMT

    For Australia to be "sore-losers", don't they actually have to lose a game first?!? 16 in a row - now off to Perth :) 17 in a row.....

  • micah on January 6, 2008, 8:13 GMT

    guys...lets ignore this mukul or whatever and stop reading his articles from NOW on...he is just trying to cash in our emotional outburts!

  • Narendran on January 6, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    i was shocked upon reading this article.its a shame that indian people still go bootlicking the whites with their "anti-indian" and "submissive" attitude! have you ever heard of an aussie journalist going against the aussies when they sledge?? i request cricinfo to stop pubilsihing such nonsense articles in the future.even if we assume that harbhajan made a vile remark,what rights do the aussies have to talk about him? whatever happened to the "mental disintegration" thingy?the aussies should remember that they are bound to get replies for their remarks and it would be better if they acted like men instead of sissies...how often has the icc upheld india's complaints??these is is just stupid. and regarding ponting....lets jus rewind to a few months back when aussies were touring india..remember the last match where karthik admitted he nicked one and later on ponting mentined "it would have been easier if karthik had been truthful and just walked!"...now what did ponting do this time??

  • Warrington on January 6, 2008, 8:12 GMT

    To quote Singh "This rage regarding Harbhajan from Ponting", what rage? From the vision which was televised Ponting looked controlled & calm. As for Ponting squealing, the captians have been ordered to report any incident involving what could be described as "Racial". With all the cameras & all the media buzz could he have got away with the glib response which Sachin gave in the post match press conference. I think not.

  • john smith on January 6, 2008, 8:11 GMT

    Unfortunatley, racism is indeed prevalent in all the countries. India is no exception. This "holier than thou attitude" from Aussies is surprising as they have a long legacy of racism against non whites.I vaguley remember Lehman had similar incidence against I believe Jayasuria a few years ago. I do not think that Lehman suffered any sever penalty in that episode.

    i think is was 7 or 8 ODI's same punishment get over it if you can't do the time DON"T DO THE CRIME

  • rocknrollstar on January 6, 2008, 8:10 GMT

    I am behind Bhajji all the way...he is a warrior and he is extremely competitive especially against the Aussies, who are the best cricket team at present. He gives it back to them and they obviously dont like it. Ricky has taken this route by reporting him and we all know why.... Did you guys notice after the match was over not a single Aussie player complimented the Indian team for a competitive game.

  • sanjit on January 6, 2008, 8:10 GMT

    i fnd kesavans views very trite and onesided!Why is bhaaji being pronounced guilty and consigned for a life ban!Let us look at the history of recent int cricket and realize that no aussie has ever been punished in the recent past for any misdeamenour-If warnie and waugh spoke to some people on the state of the pitch(sic)they are warned+the news comes out after 2 years!Jadeja nd Azhar got banned pronto!I have had the privilege to watch matches involving the aussies and must confess their on field behaviour most often resembles their ancestors ! I would also like to state up front - ICC pardons the "White Team behaviour" much more quickly than other teams who's skin color is darker !the aussies are a great cricketing team , but they get away with everything ,including having umpires as friends,as someone jokingly said,it was very difficult to decide who would be the man of match in sydney!Bucknor or Benson? i remember in school a friend was called chimp -were we racist- No !just real !!

  • Sridhar on January 6, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    Wow, monkey is a racist term. Mukul, get your facts right and for God's sake get some cultural lessons. Monkey is not a racist term in India - it could be in Australia. In fact, the term "Monkey" is often used in humorous tone in India. Symmo might have been called Monkey by the crowds because of his comical appearance with dreadlocks and the sunscreen around the mouth. In fact, the f*** and other swears used by Aussies to sledge others are considered really vulgar in Indian culture.

    One thing is certain, Aussies have lost a lot of Indian fans in recent months. They talk of showing character but lack it in them totally. Double standards, all the way!

  • srini on January 6, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    Calling someone monkey is very normal in India and it is certainly not racist. It just indicates that the recipient is "mischievous". If these stupids in cricinfo do not understand this and keep sucking up to every "white skinned" idiots then these are the guys who are racists.

    Of all the cricketers Australian cricketers are the one to complain about racism and the whole world is licking their feet. If anyone indulges in racist sledging then it is the Australians.

    Shame on cricinfo and the suckups who write columns and blogs here. It stinks up the whole cricketing world.

  • Sudhanshu Mishra on January 6, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    hey mukul, r u an indian??????? plzz answer me, dont u no since decades indian players hav faced insults n and racial taunts, did ICC den take ant steps. ONE SUCH INSTANCE:

    i dont remember d name of d player but i think it was d england captain who once said dat Vijay Merchant bats really well, y not paint his face in white n take hm 2 england.

    wasnt it a racial taunt mukul. Bhajji, i believ is cent percent innocent, d legend sachin is supportin him and even if he is guily, y is it dat ol rules r again blacks only.

    mukul, i m surprised 2 read ur article n at d same time disappointed

  • Indian on January 6, 2008, 8:08 GMT

    Probably the writer forgot what Aussies do... why wasn't McGrath banned when he asked RamNaresh Sarwan that derogatory question.. Its more of like Aussies acting like cry-babies and people like the writer in whatever mind they are in says that bhajji shd be banned? Is the writer mentally sound?

  • Esmond Lange on January 6, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    Australia are an excellent cricket team, but they are terrible sportsmen... They have perefcted verbal abuse and intimidation of umpires and are also very good at taking the spotlight off their sub standard ethics. I ask, would you for example play golf with people who believe cheating is not cheating unles you get caught? I certainaly would not!! Yes, they have a record, but what is its worth when it is achieved dishonourably?

  • db on January 6, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    Mukul, I am amazed by your desire to see Bhajji get punished. That's your bias, for whatever reason. I was expecting a more unbiased view, given that you wrote this prior to the hearing. But then that's just me. Thanks for your part in stoking the fires - cricket surely needs this (sic).

  • Mick on January 6, 2008, 8:06 GMT

    You guys should all get together pat each other on the back and repeat "Indians are incapable of racism over and over. If you say it enough it might even reverse the facts of Mumbai etc and Harbhajan and become true.

    In the meantime...2-0! Maybe next time kiddies.

  • Sumantics on January 6, 2008, 8:04 GMT

    Anyone with only slight vision left in their eyes could see who was more aggressive of the two in the exchange. And why the hell does this post read like it was ghost-written by Matthew Hayden? I completely agree with Avanidhar - well said. Stop with this subservience already! The Australians are all the words they use against other teams - enough said. And leave poor Bhajji alone!

  • Rocky on January 6, 2008, 8:04 GMT

    Harbhajan is not the kind of player who will say any bad comments related to racism. Its the overall frustration of Ricky Ponting, symonds that made them to false allegations. Moreover, whole Australian team was able to win the match because of biased umpiring. Currently their team doesn't stand in front of indian cricket team. Reality is that they have eventually lost the test match because of making irresponsible comments and shameful umpiring decisions.

  • kazim on January 6, 2008, 8:03 GMT

    Enough about this.To an Indian, being called a 'bastard' or having your mother mentioned in a foul meaning sentence is worse; Asians take great exception that, to the extent that murders have happened. Because the West feels guilty about the racist ideology that IT inflicted on other races, the bar has been set so high that it seems like an attempt to atone for that. We Asians never tried established or implied our racial superiority over other races or nationality. We do take pride in character and moral rectitude. To have anyone sledge and imply an illegitimate birth via name calling is more heinous in culpability that calling someone a monkey.

  • Subhash Chandra on January 6, 2008, 8:01 GMT

    BCCI proves that we are still not independent and being ruled by English and white man. We are still worshiping them by making their music videos, giving them advertisment. Greg shows us a finger and he awarded with a position in criket accademy. Maorty of money is genertaed by Asian Cricket playing country and others are having there bread and butter because every time we speak up, fine is imposed which goes to ICC.

    Our players are rich enough to feed them. But now it is too much, whether its a case of favoured umpiring or racial abuse, we asians are always at receiving end. Requesting all true supporters of the game too boycott teams like Australia. Only on the death bed these australian players can confess how they have made into cricket history. Shame on australians, I really surprised how this country has produced some great players like Bradman. And also support the body line series, that should have been done now with them.

  • dhruv on January 6, 2008, 8:01 GMT

    "Monkey"...this is all about "monkey" - how is that "racist"? No court of law is going to uphold that. What if anyone was called "giraffe" or "salamander"? Is that racist too? Or wait, monkeys are related to us genetically closer than other animals. If this is about monkey, I think it's silly - if there's more, well, it should be judged accordingly. I find it hard to believe worse words have not been used on the field. And, if anything, Ponting's appealing off grassed chances and claiming Ganguly's catch today, confirms there's more to him than his word - I wouldn't take it. I guess Harbhajan has earned the right to call him "bunny". Grow up.

  • Sam on January 6, 2008, 7:58 GMT

    It is time to stop this nonsense. The Aussies are getting away with both being transgressors and benefactors. They use racial abuse and sledge opponents constantly and when the Indians react, we get -punished enough is enough. By the way let's congratulate the Aussies and the umpires for cheating their way to a win in Sydney. The decisions against both Dravid and Ganguly were disgraceful. Worse without referring to the Third Umpire, Benson gave Ganguly out caught based on Ponting's gestures. I suggest that Asian and South African umpires be utilized ONLY for the return series in India later this year. In the meantime to Symonds, Ponting and Clarke- Carry On Cheating!

  • skraz on January 6, 2008, 7:57 GMT

    some of the people here are bordering on racist themselves.

    also if you look at the tape, singh called symonds over, called him something and that made symonds go off, then the umpires talked to singh.

    symonds didnt start it, singh did by calling him over to say something.

    i hope it wasnt a racist comment and just a normal sledge as i feel racism has no place in the game.

  • Ajay on January 6, 2008, 7:51 GMT

    Aussies can do anything for winning the game. The whole team of austrelia are only "PLAYING THE GAMES" not playing the cricket. The worst team i ever think on the horizon are the aussies. The cheaters, the media and the umpires everyone is playing for the white skin. The worse game of RACISM is seen at sydney cricket ground. The total sprotman spirit is died in the austrelians. Shamae .......shame for such a cheating victory.........

  • karan dhooper on January 6, 2008, 7:45 GMT

    aussies did it. india was screwed out of this match. bcci needs to take some action now. this match was india's match but thanks to the very poor umpiring decisions and mind games by aussies i hope when they prove harbhajan did not racially abuse symonds indian team charges a complains about the crybaby tactics that aussies applied to win this game i lost all my respect for aussies after this game. i have to say that they are not the best in the world they are beatable. its a sad day in cricket world.

  • Mark on January 6, 2008, 7:45 GMT

    This article does not deserve to be on the front page of cricinfo.com. There is no opposing/alternative opinion being shown on the front page. Assuming that cricinfo.com is aware of its responsibilities as a widely-read publication whose content is respected, the only conclusion I can draw from this is that cricinfo.com is publishing its own opinion. If Kesavan's extreme demands are representative of this, then I am appalled.

    I wont bother to elaborate on my opinion because it has been mirrored (eloquently, even) in the comments section by SINGH, MURALI, BHARAT, RUBIK & RACIST ROY, AVANIDHAR etc.

    I think a selection of these comments must go to the front page if cricinfo is going to put "punish severely if found guilty" in print.

    Mukul Kesavan, your comments reveal you to be an illogical person out of touch with cultural and cricketing realities. Either that or really well paid.

  • neoindia on January 6, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    It is not only in Cricket where one rule applies for the Australians and another for the Non Australians. It is in every sphere at schools,both State and Federal governments. Australia is the most Racist country in the world. Australians have robbed the country from the Aboriginals and the Torres Stait Islander.

  • Norman Wicks on January 6, 2008, 7:36 GMT

    The issue is racism not sledging. After the incidents in India recently the use of the word monkey was shown to be offensive and racist.

    From an Australian point of view the Indian Team and Indians appears to consider that only white teams can be racist. This issue will fester and get worse unless some action is taken. Sledging is not the Issue.

    Lehmann did suffer penalties for this actions not just formally but with all this crap from Indian supporters it would appear that what I have said above is true.

  • Jonathan on January 6, 2008, 7:33 GMT

    Guys, There is a difference between sledging and racist comments. There is a NEW ICC rule against racist behavior. It wasn't in force during McGrath's time, but it is now. Aussies sledge but don't make racist comments. Indians don't know how to sledge. Harbhajan might have crossed the line - but will probably escape sanction due to lack of evidence.

  • francis on January 6, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    this australian side is obsessed to winning.that had been good if these monkeys knew their lines.remember an incident i think in the last match of the odi series in india where ponting referred to dhoni's complaining to the umpire as childish behaviour now what shud we say to it!!Kudos to Harbhajan if he called symonds a monkey!! this is as if permitting killing by hanging and call strangling an offence(abusing otherwise)!! If the ICC consider racial abuses derogatory to game are the other forms of abuses winning you applauses!!! this ICC is a slave to english and the aussies!

  • Objecive Guy on January 6, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    Mr Kesavan's tone suggests that he believes that Harbhajan is in fact guilty. What if the charges can't be proved? Would that mean that Ponting and Co.are lying? What punishment should then be given to them? Should they then be banned--something that he is suggesting for Harbhajan? We could do with some objectivity Mr Kesavan.

  • jay on January 6, 2008, 7:24 GMT

    Cricket is a RIGGED sport. It asks Asian teams to play with one arm tied behind their backs so that Australia and England can continue to crow about how great and wonderful they are. The umpires are biased and the rules are enforced selectively. Anglo-Aussie fans deny this vehemently. It is blindly obvious to everyone else, but no more so than to the Asian players themselves, who are unsurprisingly 'gagged' by the authorities to prevent them spilling the beans.

    India recently beat England 1-0 despite Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid being targetted by the umpires. To beat the Aussies with the deck stacked against you is virtually impossible, not to mention the deeply demoralising effect of knowing that you are being continuously cheated.

    Well done, Mukul, as always for pointing out these dirty double standards. I would go further. Punish Harbhajan for racist abuse by all means if found guilty, but punish Ponting even more severely for abusing the system, if not.

  • Prathap on January 6, 2008, 7:22 GMT

    Aussies are known for their onfield indiscipline...they go to any extent to win. That includes making derogatory personal remarks. why is so much made out this incident. Its kind of double standards...what about the mcgrath ramesh sarwan spat. why doesnt the slater sledging dravid incident never gets mentioned...why doesnt andrew nell get pulled up for his behaviour but sreesanth does! why is it that michael vaughans comment during a recent series about contentious umpiring decisions didnt attract any action from ICC! So ricky pontings alleging that racial comments were made is so absurd. The gaurdians of the game need to be unbiased in enforcing the law...the same actions is not taken on SA or aussie player when they break rules as is taken on sreesant. Its just that indian repliy to aussie sledging is being painted as racism.... may be it would help if symonds and hayden keep their mouth closed during the game.

  • Craig on January 6, 2008, 7:18 GMT

    I dont believe some of these responses, if monkey was not racist and offensice why was that supporter eject from the ground in India during the last one day series between the teams,Talk about havinga chip on your shoulder, always the victim, when Sreesanth was sledging he was held up as a god in india because he was aggressive.A bloody pack of whingers, A lot of people are saying its only a set up as Ponting is Harbhajans bunny.Been listening to tony Greig to much i thinbk who still has mental scars from 74/75 when flogged by australia

  • Rajat Gupta on January 6, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    Lets first take the issue of poor decisions. I guess the indian media has forgotten about the England series last year. On the last day of the Lords' test when India was battling to save the test and the last wicket was on the crease, a clear caught behind decision was not given and the day ended due to bad light. There was no hue n cry made by the INDIAN media coz india saved the test and later won the series. So please get over the poor umpiring issue. Indians have also benefitted majorly out of it many a times. Coming to the racism part, how do we treat foreigners coming to India on the streets?? We oogle at them, call them GORE... Do we respect them when they are in our country. Now we might argue that GORE is not a racist slur. But my friends commenting about anybodys' color amounts to racism. How would you like if somebody addresses your unusual looks with a peculiar word. I think the Indian camp isn't sure whether Bhajji said it or not. Lets wait!! All the best Bhajji.....

  • john smith on January 6, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    Agree with satya narendra. The angry posts accusing other sides and nations of bastardry and poor sportsmanship would be much easier to read if the posts werent 99% bastardry and poor sportsmanship themselves.

    The part that I dont understand is that after all the commotion in India after the last episode (crowd monkey-taunting Symonds), you would expect the Indian team to be well acquainted with the fact that using the term to describe a foreign player is regarded as racist. In this respect, if Harbhajan has used the word again, he deserves to be punished severely, for stupidity if nothing else.

  • Sathya on January 6, 2008, 7:07 GMT

    Mr.Hunt: What you are saying is to take Ponting and Symonds complaint with out any scrutiny. What Mukul wrote in his blog indirectly is, Ponting is no saint and if there is no proof then benefit of doubt should be given to Harbhajan. Get it? If Aussies entire case is "Bhajji is a repeat offender", so are Symonds and Ponting.

  • Animesh Barua on January 6, 2008, 6:59 GMT

    I was looking the archives of Cricinfo-blogs for any posting/editorial or comments from this very Mr Keshavan on the incidents where McGrath called Jayasuriya a black monkey and Darren Lehmann called Sri Lankans black c---s? Was Mr Kesh a teenager at that time? You guys know whats the meaning og ABCD?

  • Buttsy on January 6, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    I was going to try to make some reasonable comments here, but most correspondents seem to think that Harbhajan must be in the right because he is Indian. Well, that makes sense. Some of you see conspiracies and devious plans and plots eveywhere. Could it be that he simply overstepped the mark, and now has to face the consequences? And finally, how can the Australians be poor losers? They never lose! Perhaps that's why you are all so upset.

  • Kris on January 6, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    It is about time that Aussie cricketers are given a taste of their own medicine. lets accept the fact that Aussie cricketers have never been known to be "true sportsmen". The old west indians, the older indians, the old english, all walked when they knew there out, but never an Aussie cricketer. And as far as on field sledging is concerned who better than Aussies to set an example. Its only when they get some back what they dish out is when they cry foul. A simple rule " if you give out abuse you need to be prepared to receive in return".. its about time the Aussie cricketers are taught the new rules of the game. if u cant take slander then dont dish out. or else monkeys you will all be.

  • Laxmi on January 6, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    First of all, what proof do these aussies have, to say that Harbhajan Singh used the word "monkey" in a racial manner? Australians,say it,but they can't take it. If they alledge falsly like this,then what kind of severe action could we take regardless of they're talks! They have definetely said far more racial,and abusive words then probably any of us. This is clearly injustice,and I think that they should realise what they are doing first. Has anyone even heard about any racial or abusive things from the Indian cricket team in the past?. . . And did anyone think if Harbhajan Singh really did say this, what was the core reason for it? Aussies always think that they're right,and if you really think about it, they have said heaps of racist comments about us before. Where is the respect for us? And "monkey" would be absolutely nothing compared to what ever they say on the field. I would just say that Symonds has no right to make such an issue out of blatant lies.

  • cricfan on January 6, 2008, 6:49 GMT

    the way things have happened, I do not see Aussie's complaint against Harbajan as true, its just another mind game

  • Amal on January 6, 2008, 6:48 GMT

    I find it really hard to believe that Indians have started giving racial abuse to other countries. This, after their crowds had done the same to Australia in India. This indeed is an amazing turn of events.

    On the subject of calling others monkeys, I wonder where you would find more people that resemble monkeys... India or Australia.>? Food for thought for those that indulge in this business. Shameful indeed...!

  • adesai on January 6, 2008, 6:48 GMT

    It is because of people like you we are so far behind. People like you do not back own team, aussie media tore us apart in their publishings. This is a game and the bad goes with a good. You are a traitor and coward for writing against your own county. By the way...just wondering if you are on some type of medication.

  • sadheesh on January 6, 2008, 6:43 GMT

    The Aussies can go around the world saying things that offend cricketers on and off the field but we in Asia are all of sudden brough to court!!! Andre Nel appeals and talks more than he bowls...but Sreesanth cannot, because he is from Asia!!!...... Who is fooling whom!

  • Singh on January 6, 2008, 6:42 GMT

    It is too early to blame Harbhajan. Even if, let us assume, Harbhajan called Symonds a Monkey. Symonds must have said some unprintable words to him. Sledging does really mean anything after-words. Similarly, 'Monkey' words does not really mean after-words. It is just part of the moment when the banter and/or name calling is going on. We have to give benefit of doubt to Harbhajan. There is no such thing as honourable sledging. Once you start sledging, you cannot not expect other person to react in kind. We do not know, what Symonds said to Harbhajan. I cannot imagine, discussion was about weather and Harbhajan started discussing Monkeys. Mukul is dead wrong on this one.

    This match truly showed true values of this Australian team. Follow something which suites you. Ponting has become partially honest. His does not want catches to be referred to third umpire as outcome is mostly not-out for batsman. But Ponting does not want walk if he feathered the ball. How can one be honest in one situation and not honest in another situation? This rage regarding Harbhajan from Ponting follows the similar pattern. It suits Ponting to complain about it. I am sure, this is not first time, Symonds is called a ‘monkey’ nor it is the last time.

  • hokumchand rewah on January 6, 2008, 6:41 GMT

    australians cricketers and critics have all the time been harassing the indians. they win because the umpires make blunders in favor of them. i feel that no cricketing nation likes the indians because we are the greatest democratic nation and our culture and heritage proves what kind of people we are. the australina should stop their nonsense.

  • Cricket Lover on January 6, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    All this ridiculous chatter on the field must stop. And, the guilty party(ies) in this fiasco must be punished, whether it is Harbhajan or Symonds or whoever. Racism, or reverse-racism, should both be dealt with harshly. A return to the traditional approach, of letting the on-field performance rather than the tongue wag, would do a world of good.

  • monkey roy on January 6, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    Dumb### benson trusted the guy who stood his ground after a blatantly obvious edge. aussie hypocrites, talk about playing the game in the right spirit. Sore losers, and biggest hypocrites out there.

  • Shrinagesh on January 6, 2008, 6:32 GMT

    I made some remark against you Kesavan on your prejuduces. Hi Kesavan by not publishing my words, you have proved me right that you are a charlatan who makes money by abusing India. You are a coward and it is by some luck that you found a publisher for your nonsensical writings.Shameless chap..you are..aren't you? You know that any way and you dont need me say that Kesava.

  • Sunny on January 6, 2008, 6:31 GMT

    A brown person calling a fellow brown person a monkey? Quite odd. This situation is the by-product of a cultural misunderstanding. Calling a person of colour a monkey in the West has vastly different connotations to the same word being used in India. To this day in European football the worst taunt a coloured footballer can endure is a monkey chant. The implication from the aggressors being that black players resemble monkeys and are somehow genetically inferior to their white counterparts. In India, calling someone a monkey has less to do with racial superiority, than it does calling a fat person a pig, or a tall person a giraffe. Monkeys hold an important place in Hindu mythology. The God Hanuman, himself is a monkey. Sports men and women pray to Hanuman for strength and success on the sporting field. It needs to be made clear to the Indian cricketers and Baji in particular that calling someone a monkey in the West is not on. Until then, steps towards reconciliation are futile.

  • Adam on January 6, 2008, 6:31 GMT

    I think we need to draw a line between banter and racist banter. Racism is unacceptable, but I don't have a problem with banter between the teams - ALL of them do it and not just in cricket, everyone seems not to have mentioned the petulant way Ganguly refused to go when caught a short time ago. But there is a line and if Harbijan crossed it he deserves the full weight of the law.

    Oh and for the ignorant people who accused Australia of genocide (a desperate ploy when we're supposed to be talking about a game!) - I'm Aboriginal.

  • hpur on January 6, 2008, 6:26 GMT

    australian team is a bunch of cry babies... oops was that a racist comment????

  • Racist Roy on January 6, 2008, 6:21 GMT

    To the snifflebag OnionBag. If the Aussies don't even care, why did they care to play the T20 tournament? By the way, there's been too many bad decisions against India in this match. How do you expect to play to win, when you get a load of bad decisions, not to mention a prejudiced umpire and a third umpire getting decisions wrong. Looks like it's Ricky Ponting running the show on the field more than the umpires. One more fraudulent dismissal of Rahul Dravid and the blatant cheating in claiming a catch of Ganguly by Michael Clarke. Would appreciate it if they won fair and square instead of cheating in this manner.

  • Sudhakar G on January 6, 2008, 6:16 GMT

    Mukul, even if Harbhajan had made a racial remark, why should he be punished. For too long, Australians have stretched what they can utter in the field, bringing in batsman's relationship with their mothers and sisters. This is certainly worse compared to the so called racial abuses. If ICC cannot take action on one, why should it take action on the other. Beats me!

  • brij b. garg on January 6, 2008, 6:12 GMT

    I just want to say that punish who is wrong. If harbhajan is found guilt, punish him. BUT, puncih aussies too when they are wrong. Every one sees on live telecast how they keep on sledging to provoke players. Isnt provoking an offense?

    Aussies and many other cricket teams have been found to indulge into confrontations with players from sub continent and its the sub continent players always on the receivng end. the law should be fair for all. Aussies over appeal a LOT. they never et charged for it. andre nel from SA sledges openly and walks by the umpire with a smile on his face. Is that smile a permit to sledge?

    Somehow, ICC is not fair. Sub continent generates more the 70 % of he icc revenue and still land up on the receiivng end. Something needs to be done about it.

    also the number of unfair umpiring dismissals which were SO important in the context of the game, is high. Umpirirng standards have been on a decline and new umpires with better skills should brought in.

  • i_stay_with_good on January 6, 2008, 6:08 GMT

    complaining about some1 from subcontinent by Aussies who set sledging yardstick is not good... Australia exposed. Its time to shed off dominance costume and take on defense

  • Ash on January 6, 2008, 6:08 GMT

    Mukul, Are you trying to get more readers for your writing by writing against Indians? Are you an Australian citizen. I know many guys like you who became brown by mistake. I'm very sorry to say that you really suck this job!

  • Filterkaapi on January 6, 2008, 6:05 GMT

    One of the dont'sof this site. "comments about bias by officials against specific teams or players"

    Its funny to see why three posts of mine havent been approved by Keshavan since i guess he deems them to be 'BIASED'

    Isn't your whole article, Mr. Mukul Keshavan biased against the Indians? Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

  • murali on January 6, 2008, 6:05 GMT

    I absolutely agree that racism of any kind has no place in sport and should be dealt with extremely harshly. India definitely has its fair share of racism and Australia record is very poor on this front. Having said that I have several concerns: (1) The current case is one of he said/she said - who adjudicates? Given the way the three umpires have behaved, there seems to be a definite bias in the bad decisions made through out this match - will this refect itself in the hearing? (2) I can honestly state that in India a "son of a @#%^" or the 4 letter f-word is much bigger insult than calling someone a monkey - I am not defending any racist activity, however the ethnic background determines the context of what is racist - "Kaalia" etc are more commonly used deragotary terms in this context. (3) Bhajji is from a small town in India - his grasp of the English language continues to improve. He probably is not as adept at sledging as the Aussies are.

  • Gautam on January 6, 2008, 6:03 GMT

    I wonder why cricinfo never has articles speaking about the behavior of the Australian players .. if cricinfo is to be believed, Australians play aggressive hard cricket .. other teams are simply abusing their opponents when they display the same behavior .. the only thing is if Bhajji has used racist words, he deserves to be punished for it .. else Australia need to be reminded that we are not here to hear their false complaints

  • Vikram Munikoti on January 6, 2008, 6:01 GMT

    Why aren't the Aussies ever pulled up for offensive behavior? Why weren't Michael Clark and Ricky Ponting fined for dissent? Why wasn't Brett Lee chastised for arguing with the umpire (when he questioned the umpire's ruling on an LBW appeal)? And most importantly, why is Symonds being portrayed as the victim (by an Indian journalist no less)??

    Had the same actions been committed by non-white cricketers, I'm sure they'd have been caught in a massive crap-storm.

    BTW: Congratulations to the aussies for making it 16 in a row...even if the umpires had to bend over backwards for them to make it happen.

  • gurinder on January 6, 2008, 6:01 GMT

    is Harbhajan invited for beatiful conversation, The blog owner is heirs of Jai Chand who invited outsiders to raid india and they ruled number of centuries. Traitor stop writing aganist india

  • Bharat on January 6, 2008, 6:00 GMT

    I am quite surprised at the focus on "racism" - why is there no outrage that this was a well planned entrapment by Ponting & Co ? If anyone does take action on Harbhajan, it would be a shame if Symmonds and Ponting were not suspended at the same time (though may be for 1/2 the number of tests). Ponting has really made a mess of what has been a real well contested India-Aussie exchanges. No doubt Australia this go around is a superior side, but what could have been a good series is now another distasteful series. [Just look at how Clarke convinced everyone he caught Ganguly clean, when it seems clear he had grassed it - now should someone ban him for being a cheat ?]

  • K N Haksar on January 6, 2008, 6:00 GMT

    Why is it not clear to all that in India there are no references to Race as there are no racial features. After 1947 the GOI abolished any reference to Race. Symonds must be hallucinating his English white brethren who delight in Racial Slurs and the black folks love to retaliate in kind by calling similar derogatory names. The 'monkey' epithet, all Indians know, relates to antics than racial reference. The stupidity of conjuring up that Harbhajan called Symonds a monkey simply proves that it is a blatantant lie. I am more concerned about the spineless BCCI ruining the careers of our players. I think its about time the Consumers and Contributors to the coffers of the BCCI must find a way to take action against the BCCI if it plays the second fiddle to the Aussies, English and such others. Since Symonds is black it is a cheap ploy to raise the bogey of racism.

  • Filterkaapi on January 6, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    In the4th para, can you count how many times you are contradicting yourself Mr. Keshavan. First u say that sachin will not be able to say that harbhajan was not guilty. Then u say that sachin will see it below his honour to support someone who has done this. then u say that in public sachin has clearly said that harbhajan did not say anything racist. then u again say that since in the case of a hearing, sachin will speak of what happened which will turn the tide in favour of the aussies. when sachin has come out & said that harbhajan did not say anything pertaining to racism then why are u beating around the bush.

    Mr. Keshavan can you please tell me according to which report did Mr Chetan Chauhan say that 'Monkey' isnt a derogatory word in Indian usage. First of all 'Monkey' isnt a Hindi word with reference to Indian usage. Its Bandar. A

  • Sameer Padhye on January 6, 2008, 5:58 GMT

    I write this comment as I watch in horror the atrocities committed by bucknor,benson n that stupid 3rd umpire(3rd rate to be precise). 99.94%(bradmansque) of the poor decisions have gone against india in this match. I have followed matches taking place in Oz for many years now n I can safely say that they are biggest cheaters in cricket.What a good partnership symonds n bucknor have forged in this test match.I guess bucknor empathises with symonds. I have no sympathy for symonds.The aussies are just trying to win public support.

  • Rubik Roy on January 6, 2008, 5:58 GMT

    If Harbhajan is found guilty and banned for a couple of tests (or for life as Mr Kesavan desires) then all 11 Australian players ought to be not only banned for life but also prosecuted for using profane language in a public place. It is an offence to swear in a public place in Australia and the Australians have employed the f-word (amongst other curses) on countless occasions since Boxing Day (and you need'nt have been a lip reader to confirm that). The amount of media coverage of the Symonds controversy in Australian papers (since the tour of India) is unprecedented in recent times. What is amazing is whilst Australian sports journalists have historically supported their players so wholeheartedly, even to the point of impartiality, Indian sports journalists have been extremely reticent in supporting their compatriots. They did not back Ganguly when he was down (indeed they lynched him) and now when Harbhajan is accused of racism they are afraid of giving him a fair go.

  • Filterkaapi on January 6, 2008, 5:56 GMT

    As Mr. Avanidhar has said, the author is just pandering to the anglo saxons that run cricinfo.There is no conclusive evidence that Harbhajan indeed said something like that.

  • Beach on January 6, 2008, 5:55 GMT

    Its hardly worth it playing against a bunch of no-good, completely out of integrity, desperate to win, lying bunch of losers like the Aussie cricket team.

  • Smith on January 6, 2008, 5:55 GMT

    I think this blog is not worth a response. My request to all is not to respond to these third rated thoughts of a person who is out of his mind.

  • Raj on January 6, 2008, 5:52 GMT

    Mukul

    Stop posting this kind of nonsense stuff where everyone knows how this Ausies are .. They never walk away when they are out and always famous for their sledging when they are out in field. Just take a look of current two dismissals of Dravid and Ganguly.. I am sure you will stop writing like this.

    Regards

    Keep going

  • pp on January 6, 2008, 5:52 GMT

    I find the Mr.Kesavan to be one sided, it is a known fact that Australians are notorious for bad language, in fact even one of the commentators is banned from doing a racial joke. [Dean Jones] I doubt Mr.Kesavan's cricketing knowledge, seems too shallow, Symonds is yet to prove his case.

    My guess is umpiring blunders are digressed. Ponting wants to get to the record, beg, borrow or cheat....

  • shree on January 6, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    Ricky's boyz win again. Man of the match should be given to steve bucknor for his outstanding performance. I agree the Aussies played well but the decisions made the whole difference. Even in the 2nd innings of india the horrible decision making continues. When ricky's boyz couldn do anythin with the ball they went to their cheap ways to play mind games by playin the blame game on harbajan. The umpires shuld also be charged the match fees for their horrifing performance. If theres anything yet left in the game of cricket then ICC should take serious note of it. Such patehtic attitude of Aus and horrible decision makin of steve bucknor shuld be penalized.

  • sukh on January 6, 2008, 5:49 GMT

    bigest raceist is mukul ,do he has something against punjabi players his writing always has to do something with yuvi and bhaji

  • Harsh Suri on January 6, 2008, 5:47 GMT

    I guess Aussies are honest sportsmen except when it is crunch situations...Symonds did not walk, Ponting did not walk in first innings (if either had walked Aussies would have lost by an innings) and now Dravid's dismissal in 2nd innings (per mark Taylor's commnet, the players know it) and I doubt if Aussies did not know that Dravid is not out. Again with Ganguly's dismissal if you look at the replay which shows the ball through Benson's legs, the ball was grassed. (and not to forget Ponting was diappointed on a catch for Dhoni which he himself had grassed). Way to go Aussies, this victory should carry an asterisk.

  • Javaid Abbasi on January 6, 2008, 5:46 GMT

    Poor Australians are now acting as cry babies now that they are getting a taste of their own medicine. They deserve it. I say,give them some more, only then will they straighten up and treat others with respect. They have asked for it and it was long coming. They deserve every bit of it. I still remember the racist Lehman, Mcgrath,and many others.

  • gurinder on January 6, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    is Harbhajan invited for beatiful conversation, he is son in law of Austrialian

  • Asha Kiran on January 6, 2008, 5:42 GMT

    I don't get it, I just don't. Looks like Aussies get things their way. They abuse with vulgar comments and complain when somebody hits back. They talk about no need for technology and honesty of players yet they appeal for things that seemingly look ridiculous and they don't walk when they edge the ball. Finally who decided "Monkey" is racial, to be honest the way Symonds puts on white lipstick he looks like a monkey anyway, oh by the way Shaun Pollock looks like a monley to me too, is that racial too??? Common Mukul this is the stupidest thing I've heard from you. Trust me I live in USA and I know what racism is and a cultural difference is. Stop playing for the Aussie tune.

  • Filterkaapi on January 6, 2008, 5:41 GMT

    Its nothing but a case of sour grapes for the aussies. The Indians have been the only ones in recent times who have challeneged the Aussies's supremacy & hence they are not liking it.When we play well against them, they swear n have a bit of what they term as 'LIGHT' & 'FRIENDLY' banter. When we start giving them their medicine back they call it 'RACIAL'abuse. They just cannot swallow the fact that the Indians have put them on the backfoot. Quote Steve Waugh "The Indians doctor their pitches". "The Aussies doctor the umpires"! The fact that the umpiring has been so poor, poor is not a word to descirbe the umpiring!lol! Four umpiring errors in the first innings against the Indians. 2nd innings, Dravid's dismissal was laughable. His bat was behind his pad. It was not even visible. Hidden it was.

  • SR on January 6, 2008, 5:40 GMT

    Love the angry reactions to all these hypocrites posting here. They cry racism when someone looks at them twice but everything they say is fine and justified and should be understood by the other party. Whine away...the Aussie streak lives on. Am an Indian btw enjoying the glory of this great Australian dynasty.

  • ksm on January 6, 2008, 5:37 GMT

    australian behavior disgusting period

  • Ram on January 6, 2008, 5:36 GMT

    Mukul

    Did Aussies promise you premanent residency?

  • Anjo on January 6, 2008, 5:35 GMT

    Enough has been said in the comments about 'monkey' being an offensive term (the funniest being "Pete" whose claims that its unfathomable to understand how deep an insult it is for a black person, imagine the 'brown-skins' saying the term albino is extremely sensitive to white folk) and the history of racism in the game (which can be expected but not condoned from a colonial sport).

    Unfortunately, Mukul has chosen to ape the Australian media and add his own little twist to the saga... this could change cricket forever... again! A look at the author's previous articles shows this theme springs up a lot. Mukul has a keen eye for picking the most inane facts, draining every last drop of controversy (oh noes, look at the blog category) and asserting their permanent impact on the game. Surprisingly, cricket has survived all these 'events', and most likely will continue to. Mukul wrote of racial hypocrisy on Chappel, Punter and Bhajji, some might note his article to the BBC stank of it too.

  • Kith on January 6, 2008, 5:32 GMT

    Mr. kesavan seems to have pre-judged the situation though he laboriously go on to show his impartiality in commenting on it. When consider some of the things Aussies' have said in the past, the infamous "BLACK MONKEY" reference to Jayasuriya by Mr. MacGrath for one,all this is, looks pure hypocrisy. But, I admire Mr. Kevasan's penchant for creating a stir through his articulating ability.

  • Simon Harper on January 6, 2008, 5:31 GMT

    How come whenever a topic comes up for discussion that involves an Australian player it turns into an "everyone abuse Australians" forum. I think all Australians are being racially abused, ironically, by people who are acusing australians of being racist. The hypocricy is unbelievable!

  • shaury on January 6, 2008, 5:31 GMT

    After having been run out in a one-day game against Sri Lanka in January 2003, Lehmann called his opponents "black c__ts". Ponting was also for Darren Lehmann, he never cited him. Why complain when they are on recieving end?

  • kumar on January 6, 2008, 5:30 GMT

    Simply Ricky pointing feared of Harbhajan.He knows he cant play on the field ,he is trying to take revenge on the field .

  • jayswami on January 6, 2008, 5:27 GMT

    this is a carefully plotted consipiracy to put mental pressure on india and also eliminate ponting's nemesis. this happens during every aussie tour.. media and cricket australia teams up against the visiting indians except tendulkar. they do all sorts of shady things.. in 1991-1992.. they apllied ful psychological pressure on the first tour game itself with the umpires (i think of of them has since been arrested for child molestation) penalized indian players for nothing. this time they are publishing reportsd on how indian team is veru castist and they give preference to brahmins.. this is nothing out of the ordinary.. aussies are sore losers, when they get threatened, they react badly.. like spectators thorwing bones at indians, and asking them to show visa.. indians cannot be racist if they call someone monkey. because indians worship the monkey god. jai shree hanuman and they let rabid monkeys run amok in new delhi and bit all their kids.. its the australians who are racist.

  • immi on January 6, 2008, 5:25 GMT

    Aussies are more racist than any other cricket playing nation and its even at domestic grass root level . I have been playing club cricket in australia for last 7 years & the amount of racism, vulgus & racila abuse i have copped , is too much. Just last weekend , i was reminded again that i should go back to where i came from & that i should only speak in english when playing in australia. Aussies are bad loosers for sure not all of them but certainly it started from steve waugh, shane warne & macgrath & will hopefully finish at ponting.

    They don't play tough cricket, they play dirty cricket especially when they are loosing , thats is why i don't think they are true champions .

  • Andrew on January 6, 2008, 5:11 GMT

    Satya narendra, I salute your courage and honour to speak out against the indefensible. As for the rest of the comments - those disgraceful scenes at Mumbai that sickened the world were not racism, but a chant of reverence likening Symonds to the monkey god??? Oh, pleeeeeease!

  • Rajesh, USA on January 6, 2008, 5:10 GMT

    Why are we diverting the attention and talking about this non issue when we have two shameless umpires working for the Australian team handing them a victory on the platter.

    Malcolm Speed comes out with the line that these things even themselves out. Well, they certainly don't. How does he know that these things even themselves out? How does he know what a batsman would have done if he wasn't wrongly given out or vice versa. Does it mean that the umpires keep a record of what happened ten years ago and try to make it even. Even if I were to agree that umpiring errors even out in the long run, how does that leave the result of a test series or of a test match for that matter?

    In my opinion most fans can deal with a bad loss such as India getting knocked out of the world cup. But people want to watch a fair contest. My advise to Indian fans is to spend your time, money and emotions wisely. And take the old records with a grain of salt. We don't know what all went into that.

  • Arun on January 6, 2008, 5:08 GMT

    Any form of abuse becomes racism when it's hurled with an intent to highlight one's supposed racial superiority over another's. Where Harbhajan has gone wrong is, even if he had said monkey without any such intent, he already very well knows the implications of uttering that word through the fracas during the series in India. But all that is assuming if he indeed did call Andrew Symonds a monkey.

  • Manish on January 6, 2008, 5:01 GMT

    There's a bigger problem than racism in cricket. And that's Indian cricket journalists - who really can be bought for a mere drink. I have seen so many sports reporters in India from close quarters - they are nothing more than what we call a samose-kachori ki dukaan. They'll write whatever you want un exchange for a couple of samosas. Mukul is possibly an exception. He'll porobably do it for a couple of drinks.

  • Francis on January 6, 2008, 5:01 GMT

    The sheer idiocy of many of these comments forces me to respond. This is a simple procedure to decide if a sportsman has transgressed the laws of the game by racially abusing an opponent. The article points to the possible consequences of the case to the future of the game and this series. There is no mention of the behaviour of the Australians because it is entirely irrelevant. This is a question of racism. If Harbajhan has called an opponent a monkey, then he should be punished absolutely. This is completely unacceptable in any form of society. If such a remark was made it is, at the least, culturally insensitive racism, as a word like "monkey" has connotations in Australia, and when I last checked this game was being played there. At the most, it is a disgusting, abhorrent way of vilifying the nature of someone's heritage for on field advantage. To those who feel that it is alright to label someone with offensive names that are acceptable in other parts of the world, GROW UP!

  • Arun on January 6, 2008, 4:58 GMT

    The Aussie cricketers are a bunch of f**king hypocrites. I use the F word as that is obviously ok with them while prefixing or suffixing it to other players' mothers and wives during the course of their 'non-offensive' banter. They resemble the kind of kids who would instigate a fight, get their own teeth bashed in and then go to random people to complain that they got unfairly roughed up. One should come to Australia and just walk the streets, preferably on a Friday or Saturday night to observe how deep rooted racial hatred actually is within some people. Sometimes it doesn't even warrant any verbal abuse. A brown person would be getting back to his home from his workplace in the night when he gets a beer bottle smack on the back of his skull. But obviously either Ponting and company don't know this at all or are a part of this in such a big way that they want to show the world that their people are victimized as well, possibly just for the heck of it.

  • Stinky Ponting on January 6, 2008, 4:56 GMT

    Multiple instances of Aussie gamesmanship. Trevor Chappell underarm incident. Dennis Lillee-Gavaskar resulting in his walk-out Michael Slater-Rahul Dravid with his disputed catch. Ian Healy-Moin Khan 1992 World Cup match when Healy refused to walk on being given out. Biggest culprit McGrath - Ramnaresh Sarwan McGrath - Ganguly Arrogant Ponting remonstrating when given out. Brett Lee's frequent beamers which supposedly slipped out of his hand. Ponting's petulance when given out, which escapes the eye of the match referees worldwide. Michael Clarke's show of dissent in this match. I admired Ricky Ponting's great innings in the 2003 World Cup final. But I must admit, his behavior in recent time has eroded the respect that I had for him. As for Andrew "Racism" Symonds, he is their racism trump card since everyone else in the team is white. Darrly Harper famous shoulder before wicket), Darrell Hair, Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds have ensured that I no longer admire the Australian team.

  • OnionBag on January 6, 2008, 4:52 GMT

    Vineet Sinha: "Ricky & his recent cronies always seem to complain about the entire world & their mother whenever they are falling behind in a contest."

    evidence?

  • Sam on January 6, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    This is in response to OnionBag who is definitely a Hypocritical Aussie. Symonds was inflamed after the T20 because of the adoration and the money being showered on the Indian team. This should not concern him. What we do with our finances and emotion towards our team is our problem. He is part of the Aussie team representing Australia. He was just plain JEALOUS !!! indeed and could not stomach it . There is no cure for jealousy. Symonds should grow up and be mature not just act Macho.

  • Gut on January 6, 2008, 4:50 GMT

    Ponting & Symonds are just being far too precious and very selective. What I can't understand is how a batsman can carry on batting when everyone at the ground, except the umpire, and at home known that he was out.

  • OnionBag on January 6, 2008, 4:49 GMT

    to Sukhi "Aussies are more racist then any other nation ask any other team"

    there are racists in all countries. its an unfortunate but unacceptable part of human nature.

    its usually restricted to a few idiots, but what i saw in Wankhede was virtually a whole crowd in a stadium joining in a racist taunt. Thats institutionalized racism if ever i've seen it. I guess the local media didnt cover that.

  • Ashish Samarth on January 6, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    I'm tired of the hyper-nationalistic zeal of the posters above. We Indians love to feel as if the whole world is against us. 1.There is no doubt that the Australians are a bunch of backyard bullies who try to win by any means possible. E.g I'm sure that a portion of Warne's wickets,were taken by pressurizing the unpires by excessive appealing,especially in the 'olden' days when there were no laws/guidelines on this. 2. However, it is ridiculous to suggest that if its ok to say monkey in India,its ok to say it elsewhere. I dare any Indian on this board to go draw a swastika in the town square of Berlin and try explaining to the locals that's its just a rangoli.The argument that McGrath & Lehmann did it does not justify us doing it too. 3.As for Symonds walking, stop whining about it.No one in the Indian team walks 4.One just has to sit in the stands of the Wankhede to listen to the vile abuse hurled at any visiting player.

    I call for a ban on all kinds of sledging. turn the mics on!

  • Aditya on January 6, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    I think this is where Mukul gets it wrong. Calling someone a monkey is not racial as far as Indians are concerned. It is not Harbhajan's fault that Symonds over-excessive application of 'zinc' cream on his lips make them look think and hence look like a monkey. Australians in general are racists and hypocrites. They dish out all sorts of comments and expect people to absorb them, but when they are on the receiving end, they overreact (McGrath-Sarwan was a classic example of this). They are just jealous of Harbhajan's success over them historically. This is just another mind game tactic by the Australian cricket team. Ricky Ponting may have scored all these runs, but he isn't respected by many - not even his own peers. Screw you Australian cricketers (except Gilly and some others) ... you are hypocrites

  • shiv mathur on January 6, 2008, 4:46 GMT

    Abusive language used by Australians in sledging is far far worse than calling someone a monkey..... even if Harbhajan did that after being obviously provoked. Notice that the clip shows Harbhajan signalling to Symonds to come to him.Why would he do this unless Symonds has said something to him while passing him. What has happened immediately BEFORE this is not shown anywhere.... out of design ? Further, the umpire spoke to Harbhajan for a long time. Why was Symonds not questioned ? If there is any racial element involved is seems it is not on the part of Harbhajan Singh Austrialia is just getting back a taste of what they have been dishing out. They have been known to start such things the moment the other team takes a slightly upper hand. If the inquiry is fair, Harbhajan should be found not guilty. Team India should then file counter charges for defemation.

  • Ram on January 6, 2008, 4:45 GMT

    The two incidents that were reported were during matches in which Australians weren't doing well. They seem to be good boys when they are winning and totally suck when they are loosing.

  • rajHeg123 on January 6, 2008, 4:43 GMT

    Aussies are dirty team. Do not support them Symonds, hayden, Ponting, Clarke, Waugh bunch of fighters. Send them to iraq for fighting along with George Bush for Iraq oil.

    Cheers. Any decent human being understands who is the instigator. Call Spade a spade.

  • Sam on January 6, 2008, 4:42 GMT

    Mukul is a hypocrite trying to find favour with the western world in the hope of a few bits of loaf thrown his way in terms of favours. He has lost the plot, which is obvious to all readers. Harbajan cannot be held responsible for racist behaviour when he and all asian players are being abused and slandered on the pitch in the name of sledging. Put on the stump microphone all the time and make it a level playing field-- The aussies will not be able to mentally put down any opponent and only the best team will win. Pointig did not have the guts to make a sporting declaration and this exercise is only to use the rules to decimate the indian attack with other means when he could not fare well against our third choice bowlers due to injury.Slater had a big whinge on TV about racism yet he is no saint to controversy when he came to India. Very hypocritical. The Aussie way is when they say it should stay on the field but when others do it is--- Mama!!! Mama!!! see what they are doing. SHAME

  • Rohit on January 6, 2008, 4:35 GMT

    There shouldn't be any sort of abuse , whether racial or personal.I am Indian , and I would prefer being called a curry-something or gunga din instead of the good name of my family members assaulted.All this sledging is one day going to lead to a fist fight on the cricket field,and someone is going to get seriously hurt especially with the weight of modern bats.It is quite apparent that Australians can give it but not take it,and they react poorly when the opposition is on top.Even if Symonds had called Harbhajan a monkey of which there is no proof so far, this matter could have been settled unofficially by the 2 captains.Indian players get along extremely well with West Indians or black South Africans , so I dont really understand why they would pick Symonds out.To me profanity of a personal nature is as grave as racism, and both need to be stamped out for good.Lets just stick to cricket.I hope Harbhajan gets exonerated and both he and Symonds shake hands and apologize to each other.

  • Kate on January 6, 2008, 4:35 GMT

    Reading these posts makes me despair. The issue, like it or not, is whether or not a racist slur has been made against Andrew Symonds. It is not about sledging as such. It is pointless to suggest that the word 'monkey' is not taken to be racist- look at the experiences of black soccer players in Europe- Samuel Eto'o, Thierry Henry et al. Leaving what is said on the field when it is racist in nature is unacceptable. Michael Long in Australian rules football brought about fundamental change by taking a stand on behalf of himself and fellow Aboriginal players. Cricket should follow suit. When it all descends into a debate about national sensitivities, then the issue itself is truly lost. Ricky Ponting should be applauded for taking a stand, not vilified.

  • Rohit on January 6, 2008, 4:34 GMT

    There shouldn't be any sort of abuse , whether racial or personal.I am Indian , and I would prefer being called a curry-something or gunga din instead of the good name of my family members assaulted.All this sledging is one day going to lead to a fist fight on the cricket field,and someone is going to get seriously hurt especially with the weight of modern bats.It is quite apparent that Australians can give it but not take it,and they react poorly when the opposition is on top.Even if Symonds had called Harbhajan a monkey of which there is no proof so far, this matter could have been settled unofficially by the 2 captains.Indian players get along extremely well with West Indians or black South Africans , so I dont really understand why they would pick Symonds out.To me profanity of a personal nature is as grave as racism, and both need to be stamped out for good.Lets just stick to cricket.I hope Harbhajan gets exonerated and both he and Symonds shake hands and apologize to each other.

  • OnionBag on January 6, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    every knows how the term monkey was really intended. dont try explain it away with any excuse. Symonds is of part African (via the Carribean) heritage. Monkey as been used as an insult toward Africans by other races for decades. Its totally racist. Your excuses Sheridan are pathetic.

  • Harminder Singh on January 6, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    Harbhajan should be brought to justice if he is found guilty of racist remarks. There is no doubt about it. This is in the interest of the game. But if it is only sledging, then it is part and parcel of Cricket, let it go. Australians are uncomfortable and thinking they are the champions in sledging so how someone can overtake them in this off-side game?

  • Vineet Sinha on January 6, 2008, 4:29 GMT

    Ricky & his recent cronies always seem to complain about the entire world & their mother whenever they are falling behind in a contest.How does one forget how he behaved with Srinath when the latter apologized to him after having bowled a snorter!Can one forget Slater's reaction to Dravid on a catch not being given in a test match in India!One can point out several eccentric examples set by McGrath on the field!Ricky Ponting,though several might believe,is neither an Allan Border to lead by example nor a Steve Waugh to lead by grit & determination. The entire incident in India was played up by Symonds and him and they are repeating the same in their backyard. No issues in the first test since they were always in a commanding position..but come a problem in the 2nd test and they stoop down to their well-established low levels of complaining like sissies. Guys,be popular winners & behave like the best team in the world.And abt Mr.Kesavan's comments, who the heck cares abt what he thinks!

  • sukhi on January 6, 2008, 4:28 GMT

    This has got be the dumbest thing i have heard. If you come to australia you will know how much crap we take from people, just go to a ground and i promise you will find someone yelling at your turban or accent. For harbhajan to be saying something racist is beyond a joke. If you seriously believe he is racist what has he got to say that could be racist ? He is of black colour himself. Has anyone thought about that ??????

    This is absolutely stupid and a dumb action taken. Either way Bhaji will win it. How dare the Aussies think they can get away with anything. Yes they are good in cricket and great. But they dont like it one bit when they are on the back foot and when something comes their way they act like little kids and complain about everything. Do you remember the crap they used to do when touring India ? They used to complain about everyone, every umpire. Even when they won the trophy they pushed the guy away.

    Aussies are more racist then any other nation ask any other team

  • OnionBag on January 6, 2008, 4:27 GMT

    amazing reading some Indian fans comments about the T20. The Aussies dont even care that India won that tournament. Symonds was irritated that when he got to India he'd observed that India had self proclaimed their cricket team as "World Champions". Australia currently hold every trophy in test cricket, every trophy in ODI cricket except for a series with SA in SA which they lost 2-1 and last years tri series with England which they dominated but lost the final leading into the World Cup. They hold the World Cup and the Champions Trophy. India win a mickey mouse knockout tournament which actually was test event, not an official world cup and yet proclaim themselves world champions of cricket. Fair play to India for winning the tournament - but so what, the gloating that took place since is disproportionate to the importance of that tournament.

  • satya narendra on January 6, 2008, 4:25 GMT

    If Harbhajan has referred to Symonds as a monkey, then he has not only let down the Indian team, he has let down the whole nation. And should be dropped.

    We put up with 150 years of English racial slurs and brutality, where we were treated as little more than monkeys, purely because of the colour of our skin.

    The African people who were the slaves in the Carribean, through whom Symonds traces his heritage - put up with 400 years of even worse.

    For any one of us to now turn around and imitate this despicable behaviour is the height of shame. Someone recently posted the statement that we Indians think we're as good as anyone - as good as the whites - and so we are.

    But do we think we're better than the blacks?

    The equality & justice upon which this country was built, for which Mahatma Gandhi starved himself so we could be free, forbids us to dehumanise anyone because of their race or the colour of their skin.

    I am sorry to read all the Indian aggression.

    We are better than that.

  • Aaron on January 6, 2008, 4:25 GMT

    What's the big deal about calling someone a monkey? Get over it. I call my mixed-race niece a monkey all the time. She doesn't get offended. They are all grown men and the aussies are very quick to dish it out. They have to be prepared to take it as well.

  • Nagendra Shenoy on January 6, 2008, 4:25 GMT

    Ponting and the Australian media realises that Symonds' INFERIORITY COMPPLEX can be misused to play mind games with the Indians. But I have something to say for Mr. Ponting... "THIS IS NOT HOW YOU PLAY A BOWLER WHO HAS GOT YOU OUT 8 TIMES IN TEST MATCHES'!

  • Sheridan on January 6, 2008, 4:25 GMT

    This is the worst argument, how is monkey a racist comment? the comment may refer to his appearance, if so why does the Australians have the rite to call Sachin Tendulkar a "Little" Master. Dont both comments refer to their appearance not race?

  • Jhonty on January 6, 2008, 4:23 GMT

    Not only Aussie Cricketers but the commentators on channel Nine Are Racist as well , they kind find any thing positive in touring teams and always backing wrong decesions. shame on you guys , its a shame , and symonds well he is a thrird class cricketer , and look at the face of Michael Clark in 2nd Innings , did he wanted to go after that big nick? must be thinking buckoner will ignore that as well. Shame on Pontings team.

  • Frank on January 6, 2008, 4:20 GMT

    If I m not mistaken in Hindu religion Monkey has a noble status, a monkey is a Hindu God, so Symond should be honored if he was called "Monkey"

  • sudeep Rao on January 6, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    Oh those poor Aussies. They so love the game and all its traditions they dont want to see it brought down by Bhajii and the Indian racist!...all so ironic that the only real trade of words in this series came after 7 days of cricket, and just happened to be when the aussies were on the backfoot and frustrated by not being able to dismiss a tail ender!!

    ponting ONLY reported this becuase Harbhajan has gotten under his skin. Ponting doesnt give a flying heck about racism and Symonds feeling, Ponting has purely and simply let Bhajii get under his skin!

  • OnionBag on January 6, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    Not surprising that most of you who have never lived in a minority don't understand the nature of Racism. The reason why it is more offensive than other types of insults is that it questions the very species of a person. To use the term 'monkey' is like saying you are not evolved to a human being. Given the history of the world, the very root of racism surrounds this notion and many races have suffered for generations as a result of this thinking. I cannot think of a more offensive insult. This is why it cannot be tolerated where other insults can be excused. Lehmann was charged, admitted guilt and was punished. No conspiracy. To suggest that the Australian captain has fabricated this whole scenario with Harbhajan has about as much creditability as the authorities at Wankhede stadium denying any racist taunts took place in the recent ODI. All other arguments are void.

  • BB on January 6, 2008, 4:12 GMT

    The 'World Champions' cannot take it when they get back what they routinely dish out, and, not to forget their ability to 'spin' situations to their advantage. What a bunch of hypocritical "poofs" - running to the umpires to complain about racism!!! Lets not confuse gamesmanship with abuse. Poor Andrew Symonds - hes ended up becoming a pawn in the evil machinations of the Aussie "mental disintegration" committee led by a Sleazy Punter. In my book Ponting, and, his heir apparent Michael Clarke are the 2 most annoying people on the cricket field. Case in point - Clarke standing his ground after being caught at first slip. Go India - We're still learning the art of sledging. Just need to tweak the delivery, and, we'll be able to beat them at their own game.

  • Farooq on January 6, 2008, 4:12 GMT

    Mukulkesavan, shame on you for nt supporting our guys. The way the umpiring decisions have gone and the behaviour of Australian players is a clear indicator tat bhajji has been framed! How can you actually take the words of a player (symonds)who himself is a big cheat. One who refuses to walk when out, one who is always chirping at our players trying to unsettle them, including obscene language. Bhajji is being framed in coz he is a no nonsense character, coz he helped india gain a substantial lead in this test. And also mukul, how can you forget McGrath n Lehmann taunting the SriLankan players racially???? Jus bcoz the aussies cud nt get bhajji's wicket, they tried to unsettle him with their 'NORMAL' antics, which is sledging. In my word, this is the time when these aussies shud be brought to justice before its too late. BCCI shud act now n save our players image frm being tarnished before its too late.

    Long live bhajji, long live INDIANS...

    Australian team S***!!!!!

  • Praveen on January 6, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    Austalians are playing cricket only for winning, whether by cheating, sledging, in what ever way which in not actually cricket. Australians can do any thing they want, say any thing they want to but they dont like others do the same. Australia should be banned from cricket until they learn how to play cricket honestly. Then only the game of cricket is free from sledging, abusing and controversy. If any one thought Harbhajan with out any provocation from symonds, gone directly to him and say "You are a Monkey", he is a fool. I request Mukul to check his words.

  • satya narendra on January 6, 2008, 3:58 GMT

    From a historical perspective it was the British who used to refer to the Indians as monkeys. This was indeed a racial slur. The idea being that the Indians were less like humans and more like animals than the white man.

    To turn around now and say it's alright to call a man of African heritage a monkey, is akin to saying the British were right to call us monkeys.

    It's racism. Pure and simple.

  • MSB on January 6, 2008, 3:58 GMT

    I think the writer need to stay in Aussie land for good. I don't know in what grounds he says Harbhajan need to be severely punished. As if Aussies are the purest of sportspersons who play professionally without resorting to any dirty antics. Even if Harbhajan said whatever he did, i think he need to be applauded rather than being punished since he just gave to someone who deserves much more? Now, why is this guy Sreesanth not in the team, he should be atleast against Australia - for his pace which should be a treat to watch in pacy grounds and also for his aggression against Aussies which is what India need and not to be cowed down by mind games played by Australia.

    This is coming from a one time big supporter of Australia in the days of Waughs, Bevans, Warnes & Mcgraths. Aussie team is behaving like cry baby nowadays.

  • karan on January 6, 2008, 3:57 GMT

    Mukul, How prejudice can you get?

    Australians, especially symonds, clarke are no angel. They say things all the time. Symond has come up with something that nobody has heard or there is no evidence.

    How could you come up to suggestion that Harbhajan should be banned from international cricket if found guilty? What about symond said things to Harbhajan?

    My friend, be fair before what you write. First rule of writing a column is you have to be unbiased.

  • Travis on January 6, 2008, 3:52 GMT

    Nobody here seems to have considered the possibility that Ponting may have been confident that the stump-microphones HAD picked up Harbhajan's comments and been surprised to find out that they did not.

  • dave on January 6, 2008, 3:45 GMT

    Some nice balanced comments here - from the Indian fans with chips on both shoulders.

  • Ben on January 6, 2008, 3:43 GMT

    i find it amazing how australians can cover their own mistakes... if harbhajan is found not guilty that symonds should be heavily penalised for appealing wrongly... i guess he jus can hear properly! y doesnt sumone buy him a pair of hearin aids... that would solve the whole problem...

  • S.N. IYER on January 6, 2008, 3:42 GMT

    I think the issue is being prejudged by Mr.Kesavan.Andrew Symonds seems to have a complex about his looks or may be his ancestry as he made similar allegations when he was here in India recently.Unless there is absolute proof,Harbhajan should be exonerated. But the lesson to be learnt from all this that no sledging or for that matter conversations between the players should be banned. If anything has to be said it should be in front of the umpires. This should end once for all the Aussie tactic of sledging in which they are adapt.When sledging was allowed and encouraged the authorities should have realized where this will end.As it is the sportsmanship of the Aussies is questionable and if sledging is banned they will have to behave in a more sportsmanlike manner on the field.

  • Whatever on January 6, 2008, 3:39 GMT

    Yes, Brett Lee recently defended Aussie sledging as gamesmanship. But Harbhajan must be punished, whether or not he has indeed said such a thing to Symonds- provoked or unprovoked. Some Orwellian doublespeak and tactics!

  • michael on January 6, 2008, 3:38 GMT

    "I can see players and officials asking for stump microphones to be left on all the time so that allegations of this sort in the future can be settled by technology." ....but i could like to stress is to that lets use the technology to give "human error free" decision on batsman's dismissal on wicket. can they do it first?

  • anisha on January 6, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    wht is this nonsense 1st of all austrailia is guilty 100% they r using it for the sake of themselves hv they played one series widout this chants? india doin right thngs this ppl r jealous abt T20 n u call austrailia gentlemans shame on u author

  • RKN on January 6, 2008, 3:34 GMT

    I don't condone racism. But in this case, don't think that any punishment is called for. It has been reported in Aussie newspapers that it was Symonds who first had a "word" with Harbhajan and Harbhjan has been alleged to have responded with a racial rejoinder. It is not that "racial" taunts are more hurting than other ones. Other vulgar comments also hurt that's why people respond with more outrageous response and things quickly get out of hand. If Symmonds has instigated this, Symmonds should be punished severly for provoking Harbhajan as well. The best thing to do is if you can't take the abuse, you don't start one yourself. Aussies are the ones who started this objectionable behavior, and they can't say what is acceptable sledging and what is not, simple because this would vary from person to person.

    RKN

  • Sailesh Shah on January 6, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    Mukul you are the biggest clown in the cricket circus. You are living on the cricket writings. So it is your bread and butter. Meaning you can write anything you like. How can you jump to conclusion, the harbhajan should be banned for ever, I think people like should be banned for life, and you should be asked to STOP writing. Why do you poision people's mind. Why dont you keep your mouth shut and let them decide what to do. After the judgement is out you may write your views. Journalist hardly understand cricket, so they only depend on the such gimmicks. You people are more interested in non playing opinions, cause you do not understand the finer points of the game.

  • A Singh on January 6, 2008, 3:27 GMT

    The vulgarity ( cursing at every instances) express by Austrailians in the middle is well known.

    They used it in the West Indies aganist Sarwan---and taught that he would not resopond--he did --it got blown up in the Austrialian press---just like--this.

    What was Symmonds saying to Baji---before --Baji summonds him---is swaering allowed---is swearing not demeaning and deragotory.

    But Austrialians---has done much damage to the game---would any Austrialian father tell his child --to be like Symmonda and Pointing ---and openly cheat

    Would any Austrialian parent tell their child to confront and intimidate umpires--like the Austrialians do.

    Both Hayden and Hussey were out LBW yestersay---but the upires dare not give them out.

    The overall is all the White teams swear and make vulguar remarks in the middle--to most of the other teams---just look at Andrew Nel of South Africa had to say Gayle after being hit for sixes. Is any body going to stop---these white racist culture.

  • A Singh on January 6, 2008, 3:27 GMT

    The vulgarity ( cursing at every instances) express by Austrailians in the middle is well known.

    They used it in the West Indies aganist Sarwan---and taught that he would not resopond--he did --it got blown up in the Austrialian press---just like--this.

    What was Symmonds saying to Baji---before --Baji summonds him---is swaering allowed---is swearing not demeaning and deragotory.

    But Austrialians---has done much damage to the game---would any Austrialian father tell his child --to be like Symmonda and Pointing ---and openly cheat

    Would any Austrialian parent tell their child to confront and intimidate umpires--like the Austrialians do.

    Both Hayden and Hussey were out LBW yestersay---but the upires dare not give them out.

    The overall is all the White teams swear and make vulguar remarks in the middle--to most of the other teams---just look at Andrew Nel of South Africa had to say Gayle after being hit for sixes. Is any body going to stop---these white racist culture.

  • Ken on January 6, 2008, 3:26 GMT

    I find it amazing that so many Indian supporters don't believe anything their team or supporters can do is racist.

  • Ken on January 6, 2008, 3:25 GMT

    I find it amazing that so many Indian supporters don't believe anything their team or supporters can do is racist.

  • Krishnan Srinivasan on January 6, 2008, 3:23 GMT

    Nice article Mukul. But I don't understand what constitutes "racist" when all kinds of things are being uttered on the field. Should there be a pre-specified set of words that are not allowed on the field? Otherwise any player can find anything offensive, and there might be no end to it. I believe Ricky Ponting played cry baby in this case to take whatever happened on the pitch to the referee, when even the umpires had not heard anything. Or maybe it was just another Aussie mind game trick. If no racist words were uttered, Ricky Ponting should be punished really hard for bringing the game to disrepute.

  • LBW on January 6, 2008, 3:22 GMT

    SN, Sledging is different and racism is different. Sledging is akin to teasing and has a line and limit. www.thesillypoint.com/forum. Racism unfortunately does not have a line or a limit.

  • Rohit Gore on January 6, 2008, 3:19 GMT

    This is really precious on part of Symonds. He can always get away with hugely personal remarks against the opposition players. Calling an opposition player "bas__rd" is accpetable by the Aussies but being called a monkey is not. I have heard a word so many times that is a slang for donkey. "You have made an ass of yourself, mate". So is donkey racist too? So what really consitutes racist? I think there are many people in the world for whom word monkey does not count racist, I think. Just like a donkey. Just like an elephant. Or a hippo for that matter.

  • Andy Singh on January 6, 2008, 3:19 GMT

    Mukul, you have lost it. Wre you there or was there a witness present. If anything defend your team. Evryone is innocent till proven guilty. You are dead wrong

  • nj on January 6, 2008, 3:17 GMT

    I dont believe in Australian players I think even if they find harbhajan guilty they should also penalise whoever accusing him including Symonds,Ponting.Because he is not going to say anything unless instigated.To stop this thing in future both players should be penalised.Aussies under the name of professionalism & to win, do whatever they can, from history you can see Mcgrath-Sarwan incident and once Mcgrath did spit towards a batsman(the viseo is available on google) and I have never seen them being called by match referee forget about penalty. This same Ponting when he last time won a One day tournament in India pushed a Minister to grab his trophy.And he apologised only when he was asked repeatedly. My observation has always been when australians do things those are taken as attacking cricket when others do it is called offensive behaviour/racism etc.. So there are already double standards in international cricket. By the way I even dont believe in Mike Procter all

  • LBW on January 6, 2008, 3:17 GMT

    Mukul,

    Chetan Chauhan shouldn't say that monkey is a derogatory word. We have defended ourselves in India with this. However, after those incidents, it is now well known to every player in our team that monkey means denigrating and is racist. It is acceptable if Harbhajan has indeed used.

    I know the arguement that Australians do sledge. If they do sledge and if they they abuse vulgarly, why do our players wait till they complain about our behavior? Why don't we protest against their behavior? At Oval earlier this year, Zaheer Khan has made it clear to the English team that throwing jelly beans in unacceptable. That is the way other players should also approach the game.

  • SN on January 6, 2008, 3:14 GMT

    Now that someone else can play the sledging game also - Australias start crying like babies - and call their mommy. Australia are the ones who introduced personal sleding to the game - so thay need to suck it up and learn to live with it. Coming on top of super poor umpiring in this test - all favoring the Australians - this is adding insult to injury. Of course, all of India will be suprememly pissed if this case is not dismissed.

  • Raghu on January 6, 2008, 3:12 GMT

    There is no place for sledges, slurs or stupidity on the field. If there is evidence of this by Harbhajan, then he should be punished, after a proper hearing.

    That being said, this has largely been a trial by media, which is inappropriate. True to form, Channel 9's Australian commentators are adding to the hearsay by claiming to have inside knowledge of locker-room conversations on this issue.

    Its amazing how the sensitivities of Australian cricketers (current and former) are offended when they are the receiving end of, but none of this is an issue when they are the ones hurling it at other teams.

    One simple way to resolve such issues. Cricketers should "Shut up and Play"; let their skills do the talking. If not, the law should come be brutally AND equally enforced, irrespective of the race, colour, origin of the perpetrator.

  • sajan on January 6, 2008, 3:11 GMT

    i think he should be banned 1year if found guilty by ICC and BCCI , its a serious crime he was targeting Symonds from mumbai ODI

  • DESIB on January 6, 2008, 3:11 GMT

    Please mukul, give it a break !!!I guess you never watched any matches involving australia over the years at all or for that matter south africa or england. These are the teams that have started all this so called chatter on the field and taunted opposing teams, especially targeting the teams from the subcontinent repeatedly. I can show any number of youtube videos showing how australians have taunted indian players with comments, gestures and so on. Remember Mcgrath,steve waugh,and even Michael Slater himself who is now accusing Harbhajan ? Why these double standards? Why only punish Indian players? Why dont we investigate what prompted harbhajan even to say anything in the first place. I had seen the match and saw Hayden and Symonds repeatedly talk at/to bhajji while he was batting.I dont think they were asking about his health !!! Please get out of your awe of Australians and of white people Mukul and let the facts come out totally from both sides before making judgement

  • Hanuman on January 6, 2008, 3:06 GMT

    Caling anybody a monkey, a divine intepretation of Hanuman is a matter of respect in Indian culture. It should not be taken out of contect. Never translate perceived slurs into other languages. It looks and feels different

  • dilip on January 6, 2008, 3:02 GMT

    Well done mukul stunning comments, anybody can use some part of previous facts to justify somehting and put their case strongly. Sadly you have done the same to justify your point, i think what harbhajan supposedly did calls for a ban then these australian players would have never been able to play 100 tests as they should be banned after every match as they do things which are worse every match rather every session. Were you writing for circinfo when glenn mcgrath had made a remark on ramnaresh sarwan, and when glenn mcgrath had made a comment and remarks when he got sachin in 1999 in sydney. Those remakrs were certainly humiliating if not racists. And just in case if harbhajan referred symonds as "monkey" how can that be racists, some one please explain me. I am sure mukul would have a fantastic explanation for this.

  • kk on January 6, 2008, 2:56 GMT

    I think the whole article is a BS by some wash up AH who wont hesitate making a same side goal to impress the ever racist white populus out there. Take it easy dude, there can't be anyone more racist than any of those Australian psychos. This whole crap about counter racism is a BS supported several self loathing idiots like you.

  • Indian on January 6, 2008, 2:46 GMT

    Mukul Kesavan ( writer ) amply reflects his limited intellect by presumming whole lot of things and unfairly harsh on Harbhajan. He shows his slave mentality and conviently chose to forget the provocation some Aussie players are known for years. Something must have happened which provoked Harbhajan to talk to Symonds. or the writer thinks that its a habit of Harbhajan to certainly start calling names even thou he was batting pretty well.He suggested that he should be banned forever from international cricket. Madhu, could you widen your horizons and think what happened since 70s when asian players were crucified cos of their colour. Mukul it reflects your slave mentality as your genes suggest you had more than one father and that too of diffrent race. Check with your mother please before you put such thoughts in media.

    Symonds and Ricky and other cricketers should also be held accountable for what happenened in the middle and technology shoul play greater role.

  • Manas Maity on January 6, 2008, 2:46 GMT

    Mukul Kesavan, Every crime has an appropriate punishment. By saying Harbhajan should be banned forever by BCCI, if he has committed the crime of calling Symonds a monkey, you have only exposed yourself. You better grow up quickly. Also, you should have written a line asking what Symmonds did, shouldn't you?

  • ravikumar,jakarta on January 6, 2008, 2:43 GMT

    Isnt it very queer that whatever other teams done is highlighted while australians whatever they do is attributed as gamemanship or tactics.Is it right to talk(for symmonds) to disturb a concentrating batsman,(not to forget that he is a bowler mainly)by provoking him.Now can some one tell me how a bowler who went on to make 60 and more runs and trying his level best to save his team will afford to think of racist comments or what so ever he is reportd to have commented? Was it so unilateral and not being provoked?? It doesnt make any sense if harbhajan gets punished and symmonds not? Its absolute mockery of such judgement.If you(ICC) have guts to weather strong cricket boards like australian and Indian please make rules that no player in either side is allowed to talk with a player in other team as long as match goes on.Any references with his team mates or any sledging will attract direct dismissal of such player from his team.Believe me.Many australian players will be out then.

  • Shrinagesh on January 6, 2008, 2:41 GMT

    Cricinfo's blogs are getting shriller and this guy, Kesavan, believes Harbhajan made a racist remark. Amazing? Was he there on the field in first place? Is he trying to create a circumstantial evidence? Was he sure the Aussies are not cooking up? Does Aussies true followers of Mahatma? Is there something called racism in the Indian psyche? If at all there was one, wasn't it admiration for other races and contempt for one's own? Indians have been abused consistently by Whiteners but that wasn't racism. BCCI should not invite Symonds to play in India and that will be the best punishment to him as it will bite his purse. Kesavan arguing for Aussies is funny as he was acting like Nirad Chaudhuray or India born writers who cannot understand India but make a living by abusing India .To make things appear sober, Kesavan appears to take on the Aussies for a while. Pl do not be carried away. This guy is a pretender and Aussie hand maiden. Most journalists are like him because I know too many.

  • mk49 on January 6, 2008, 2:37 GMT

    I think we need more big brother tactics. I think sledging in any form - racial, personal, of the "wife-mother-sister" kind should be disallowed. The Aussies have long played dirty - and have themselves routinely used racist and other tactics and practice (they did play against apartheid SA for decades). Further, I am not sure why calling someone a monkey or tauting them in some other way is qualitatively different. It may have different resonance in different societies, Western societies with their own histories are touchy about N words, but other socities may have other sensitivities (say for e.g. comments about beards). I think we should put an end to all sledging, and punish those who bait (Symonds) and those who may be respond (Harbhajan). Let us punish Bhajji, but not let the Aussie monster go scot-free.

  • mk49 on January 6, 2008, 2:37 GMT

    I think we need more big brother tactics. I think sledging in any form - racial, personal, of the "wife-mother-sister" kind should be disallowed. The Aussies have long played dirty - and have themselves routinely used racist and other tactics and practice (they did play against apartheid SA for decades). Further, I am not sure why calling someone a monkey or tauting them in some other way is qualitatively different. It may have different resonance in different societies, Western societies with their own histories are touchy about N words, but other socities may have other sensitivities (say for e.g. comments about beards). I think we should put an end to all sledging, and punish those who bait (Symonds) and those who may be respond (Harbhajan). Let us punish Bhajji, but not let the Aussie monster go scot-free.

  • mk49 on January 6, 2008, 2:36 GMT

    I think we need more big brother tactics. I think sledging in any form - racial, personal, of the "wife-mother-sister" kind should be disallowed. The Aussies have long played dirty - and have routinely used racist tactics and practice (they did play against apartheid SA for decades). Further, I am not sure why calling someone a monkey or tauting them in some other way is qualitatively different. It may a different resonance in different societies, Western societies with their own histories are touch about N words, but other socities may have other sensitivities (say for e.g. comments about beards). I think we should put an end to all sledging, and punisher those who bait (Symonds) and those who may be respond (Harbhajan). Let us drop Bhajji, but not let the Aussie monster go scot-free

  • Himanshu Trivedi on January 6, 2008, 2:35 GMT

    Dear Sir Harbhajan is no saint, but unfortunately, saints do not play cricket (or do not make good cricketers). However, on the other hand, Australians (barring people like Adam Gilchrist) are not washed with milk either. Racism in any form is required to be put down - no matter how harsh it may sound - but the "evidence" of "word" of persons, who got "out", did not walk and when given "out" when actually not out, gesticulated very loudly (Poor Yuvraj had to face a hearing, Ponting did not face one) - should not be taken as gospel truth as none of them are JC (Jesus Christ). If Harbhajan is found guilty on "reliable" evidence, severe punishment shall be meted out as calling anyone "monkey" or a racist comment shall be a big NO. However, if the complaint proves to be Ponting's ploy for not facing Harbhajan in the rest of the series, there shall be a severe reprimand against Australians.

  • kedar pandit London on January 6, 2008, 2:32 GMT

    cont.../Although racism is unacceptable in toto, one must also try and detect the reasons for this, which in my experience are usually born out of economic deprivation. I therefore understand why Simo was picked on by the Indian crowds when all they could see was his ungracious attitude in the face of generous Indian hospitality that is world renowned. I am therefore not hugely sympathetic for him in particular. Furthermore he continues to indulge in sledging with the rest of Ponting’s senior brigade. They just can’t accept competition and retaliation sends them into apoplexy! You also seem to overlook Greg Ritchie’s antics involving a cross between Mahatma Ghandi and Peter Sellers (the latter for his aping of Indian accent as perceived in the west) during India’s last trip of Aus in 2003-2004. This was reported on Cricinfo by Sambit Baal to be in most pathetic taste and generally racist if I recall correctly. Also remember MCG Bay 13’s treatment of Sambit and his fellow brown companions attending the 2003 MCG test (pushing and swearing galore!)? So next time please be a bit more balanced in expressing your opinions in a public forum before branding Indian crowds and players to be “racist” and in particular recommend a “ban”, particularly so when the whole thing smacks of Steve Waugh’s “mental disintegration” type strategy to nullify Bhajji. Would not be surprised if the next thing for Ponting and chums was to question his action using the ultra nationalistic Aussie press and Channel 9 team! Finally Ponting’s Aussies whilst remaining a current day “great” team, have some way to go as gentlemen and much beloved the world over, unlike its predecessor Lloyd’s calypso warriors, who incidentally would have beaten these boys at cricket, popularity and gentlemanly behaviour (NZ 1980 and bumper barrage not withstanding!). This I consider to be truly a great shame, as the general sporting ethics of the Aussie team is in no way reflective of most Antipodeans I have been mates with for a long time. Besides Aus and NZ remain hugely sporty and appreciative crowds in general. Their adoption of SRT as one of their own is ample reflection of that. One also needs to take a look at Channel 9’s web site discussion over whether Roy and Punter should have walked, which judging by the responses have divided that nation. A lot of Aussies have also expressed their anger at the increasing hubris of Punter’s team vis-à-vis say Tubby Taylor’s team of the mid 90’s. That should hopefully provide adequate comfort to most non Aussies and neutral cricket lovers alike.

  • Sam on January 6, 2008, 2:32 GMT

    Sun Tzu would be proud. The Australian cricketers practice 'total war' on every team. Why limit yourselves to the confines of the gentlemanly game when you can defy the rulebook by sledging, pressuring umpires, “Bodyline” bowling (that the Aussies complained about the English for) at the ribs and heads of the opposition batsman, and not walking when clearly out? Ironically, the rulebook is insisted upon when the chips are down - a la underarm bowling. Their behaviour only makes them the team everyone loves to hate throughout the cricketing world. As ambassadors for all Australians, they are doing a disservice to all other Australians. In any event, Ponting and Symonds will not be welcome for endorsements in India

  • kedar Pandit London on January 6, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    Mukul

    Once again mostly a good article although you have left out what I consider to be some major issues. I am not sure how familiar you are with the antipodean culture and way of life, but having played with a lot of Aussies and Kiwis and in general being good mates with a number of them here at home in London, I feel that this is essentially a case of cultural differences. Aussies and Kiwis use the “f” and “c” word very liberally, almost as frequently as the usage of the term “bloody” in British English! However to an untrained ear, it rightly sounds most annoying and insulting. This has lead to many a problem with non white teams (mainly the sub continental ones) visiting down under. E.g. Lehman’s famous tirade against Jayasuriya calling him a “black c” and Pigeon McGrath calling Jayasurya a “black Monkey”! I am surprised that in your eagerness to express your disapproval of a potential alleged racist remark, you have overlooked these very serious instances but chose to cite Rashid Latif v Gilly etc. In Lehaman’s case, he was merely asked to rest for a handful of inconsequential ODIs, in Pidge McGrath’s case, I can’t remember any punishment being meted out at all. You then indirectly accuse Chetan Chauhan, a man of proven credentials, cricketing standing and integrity of resorting to “sly” practices. Steady on old boy! Chetan was not wrong in saying that “Bandar” (Hindi/Urdu for Monkey) is often used as a harmless term (akin to say “wally” in England), although I am not sure why Bhajji could have possibly used it when the whole “Monkeygate” fiasco is only too fresh in people’s memory. One must also remember that Simo’s carping from day 1 of his arrival in India last October and his blatant jealousy of the financial gains of what he perceived to be moderately talented Indian counterparts certainly could not have helped matters.

  • Dr Iyer on January 6, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    A legal expert's view: - There should be no presumption of Singh's guilt. - According to the media, the umpires did not hear it. So it is the Aussies words against the Indians. - Singh can justifiably make a counter-claim re: vulgarities directed at him. - By resorting to the law, Ponting has ensured that the Aussie behaviour will be closely monitored here and overseas. This takes much of the fun out of a "game" and will ensure Big Brother will be here to stay.

  • Narendra on January 6, 2008, 2:22 GMT

    Aussies behave like kids in school going to teacher crying and sobing....very unAustralian..sore loosers they are....

  • Suneel on January 6, 2008, 2:21 GMT

    Mukhul sir, do you know what kind of bad language members of Australian cricket team use. It is very easy to sit on and write an article asking for very severe punishment. You are in fact asking for taking Harbhajhan out forever :-) You must know better. Even deaf guy (from lip movement) can understand what kind of language Austrian team used starting from early 2000.

    It would be ideal if Harbhajhan is not given any punishment at all. If you want to see harsh punishments lets start with Australian team first. I am sure ICC won't take any actions against Australia members neither they care about quality of umpiring.

  • sujith on January 6, 2008, 2:21 GMT

    i seriously think that mr mukul kesavan if u r an indian u should learn to support ur side . australians can do anything and they get away and the second we indians do something our indian reporters make it soo big that it looks like u r australians too badd and really bad report bug off

  • Abry on January 6, 2008, 2:18 GMT

    This is a genuinely stupid article. The Australians have a history of abusing players racially - try asking Vivian Richards about it. Moreover they have been systematically targeting Harbhajan Singh since the series in India. This is no doubt a continuation of the same.

    Harbhajan may or may not have called Symonds a monkey, but how does it constitute racial abuse, Mr. Kesavan? Sure, racial abuse should not be tolerated. But why should we accept the Aussies' contention that the apellation of "monkey" is a racial epithet? This is a clear case of the Aussies trying to twist the existing laws in order to intimidate and break an opposition player. We should be united in condemning the Aussie tactics, instead of calling for Harbhajan's head. The Aussie media have all fallen behind Ponting in baying for Bhajji's blood. It's time for all sensible people to rally behind Bhajji.

    I therefore condemn his stupid and misguided article.

  • Vivek Sharma on January 6, 2008, 2:18 GMT

    I must say that I am quite appalled by the comments of Mukul Kesavan (The Case Against Harbhajan). He seems to have drawn his own conclusions based on fictitious facts and exposed his plain bias for Harbhajan. Reports coming out of media here in Australia this morning suggest that it might have been another case of Aussie team stepping out of line and taking their bully tactics to an unwarranted level. Do not forget that they like to play mind games. It is just that this time they have stooped too low. They have exposed their dark side and what we see does not go with either the spirit of the game or their position in the work cricket. True Champions uphold basic human values and out integrity and honesty before anything else.

    Mukul Kesavan clearly has no idea of the sledging Aussies use on the field. If everything of what the Aussie cricket team does or says is reported, the whole team will get banned for life, barring perhaps Gilchrist.

    Vivek Sharma Melbourne

  • Sunil on January 6, 2008, 2:15 GMT

    Get real. Aussies are worst at mouthing off. Its only offensive and against the spirit of the game when it doesn't suit them. I think its pontings tactics against Harbhajan. Over the years one could easily make out what people like Mcgrath and, Warne and may others have said. You don't even need a stump microphone etc just their mouth movement was enough. Aussies have all the sudden forgotten one of their favourite slogan "what ever happens on the field stays on the field".

  • Narendra on January 6, 2008, 2:15 GMT

    Aussies behave like kids in school going to teacher crying and sobing....very unAustralian..sore loosers they are....

  • Shiva on January 6, 2008, 2:12 GMT

    I think racisim in cricket is unacceptable. However, it should also be taken into consideration the serious sledging the Australians do. Anyone found guilty of defaming the game should be punished. So Steve Bucknor, the third umpire, and Symonds should be punished. Symonds openly admitted that he knicked the ball. So punish all those to make cricket once again a Gentleman's game. Let's not go the way of Soccer, Rugby and ice hockey.

  • Vab on January 6, 2008, 2:11 GMT

    How is monkey racist?? How does this relate to Symond's race, religion, appearance or culture. Remember when the Australians called Sanath Jayasuriya a "black bastard?" - that was racist. However, the Australians were not at all rebuked for this. Now, when the heat is supposedly on the Australian team, they can't take it. So much for "what happens on the field stays on the field."

    The West Indies were dominant in the latter part of the last century. However, everybody loved their team. Why? Because they were good sports. All countries despise the Australian team for their vulgar attitude on the field, yet the Australians continue to harass opposing teams.

    I went to the recent MCG test match. The filth that the Australian supporters were saying to the Indian team was absolutely attrocious. They were horrendous towards Sourav Ganguly, attacking his race, culture and family. Moreover, an Australian policemen standing nearby was laughing at this. Aussies are hypocrites, go harbajan

  • kannan venugopal on January 6, 2008, 2:10 GMT

    thats pretty disappointing,mukul.you seem to implicate arbhajan , while at te same time stating that there is no prima facie case against him.of course, racism has no place anywhere in life, foget the playing field alone.but i cant see if being taunted racially is any worse than personal abuse, which is what the australians are past masters at and then name it mental disintegration.i have one thing to tell the aussies.. if you cant stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.

  • Vab on January 6, 2008, 2:10 GMT

    How is monkey racist?? How does this relate to Symond's race, religion, appearance or culture. Remember when the Australians called Sanath Jayasuriya a "black bastard?" - that was racist. However, the Australians were not at all rebuked for this. Now, when the heat is supposedly on the Australian team, they can't take it. So much for "what happens on the field stays on the field."

    The West Indies were dominant in the latter part of the last century. However, everybody loved their team. Why? Because they were good sports. All countries despise the Australian team for their vulgar attitude on the field, yet the Australians continue to harass opposing teams.

    I went to the recent MCG test match. The filth that the Australian supporters were saying to the Indian team was absolutely attrocious. They were horrendous towards Sourav Ganguly, attacking his race, culture and family. Moreover, an Australian policemen standing nearby was laughing at this. Aussies are hypocrites, go harbajan

  • Raj on January 6, 2008, 2:10 GMT

    The article is heavily loaded against Harbhajan in first place. Australians are no saints. The ICC does not book any Australian for sledging. The so called top umpire Steve Buknor loses his faculty of judgement only against Indians. Symonds must be booked for dishonesty. He should have walked out when he knew that he edged Sharma. So the game of cricket is not for the saints. So Harbhajan has done nothing wrong and you have no proof to nail him. It's better to leave the issue and probably admonish both the players and ICC must formulate new laws to protect the game.

  • subh on January 6, 2008, 2:09 GMT

    The tone of your article suggest that Harbhajan the bad guy!!! Why are you trusting aussies...they have history of saying bad things to opponents and you guys (read reporters) seem to find faults with other teams (read sub-continent teams).

    Argh...oh god..these hypocritical reporters.....

  • madan verma on January 6, 2008, 2:09 GMT

    all I can say australians can not digest what is being dished out to them "tit for tat" new india generation is not all about godly-godly or say meek. so they deserve what they are due for.mr mukul never commented this strong when in 2001 michael slater abused rahul over a "cheated" catch.ther are umpteen examples of such in the past on australlian side. thanks.

  • VKG on January 6, 2008, 2:08 GMT

    If it is ok for media to say Ponting is a Harbhagan's "Bunny" then what is wrong with calling Andrew a "Monkey". Besides Australians always play dirty against every visiting team, let them get the taste of their own medicine. Play the game with bat and ball not with dirty mouth.

  • madan verma on January 6, 2008, 2:08 GMT

    all I can say australians can not digest what is being dished out to them "tit for tat" new india generation is not all about godly-godly or say meek. so they deserve what they are due for.mr mukul never commented this strong when in 2001 michael slater abused rahul over a "cheated" catch.ther are umpteen examples of such in the past on australlian side. thanks.

  • Vijay Gopalakrishnan on January 6, 2008, 2:07 GMT

    Mukul, very interesting article. However, I would like your views on what you have to say about the very frequent hurling of racist sledges by teams like Australia(masters at it), England, South Africa at their opponents. You have not been mentioned anything about it, and left the discussion incomplete, in my view.

    Again: How do you think that the two umpires on the field did not hear or even notice anything?

    Here is what I really feel happened: *Symonds unwarrantedly antagonised Indian fans during the series in India last year, by downplaying India's T20 victory unnecessarily. *The crowd for the Vadodara ODI gave back to Symonds by calling him "monkey" not due to racial reasons, but because he had lip cream on always (I dont think many Indians even know the words "Autralian aborginee"). *Symonds inflamed the situation through his articles and sledging of Pathan etc-Indian players and crowds in mumbai reacted *AUS unfairly used all this to try banning bajji

    ur views pls

  • ruchit on January 6, 2008, 2:05 GMT

    if harbhajan used the word monkey then it is not racist in in indian parlance. aussies themselves absolve themselves of several sledging accusations having aleedgedly racist overtones by stating that in their culture the usage of a particular word is not racist and i guess that is fair enough. so if it was monkey what harbhajan said then racial abuse theory is stuoid argument. if anything else and is genuinely racist then he ought to be reprimanded but no more than Mc´Grath was for calling Jayasuriya a black monkey. here monkey was not racist its coupling with black made it racist. if bhaji is unfairly sentences for something such stupid then it would be time for bcci to flex its muscles and shows the Aussies their place.

  • Nirmal on January 6, 2008, 2:04 GMT

    Mukul,

    With the advent of technology, cant the match refree's keep a micro phone with every player (including the 12th man and support staff) and then check the same in background if something has to verified?

    Aussies are known for their idiotic attitude on & off field and try to unsettle the oppositions thru some or other comments.

    I definitely agree that any racist comment by any team player should be seriously taken and serious punishments should be laid out so that player excerise caution in future.

    But with latest technology i am sure match refree is in a much better position.

  • Balaji on January 6, 2008, 2:03 GMT

    Mukul, the tone of your article almost finds Harbhajan guilty. You should be careful while writing such articles. Please be aware that Australian cricketers and the least well mannered players of all the cricket playing nations. We need to weigh in that factor as well. Also it's time we Indians started thinking we're as good as any one else and stop endorsing whatever others say without carefully considering all the aspects.

  • ruchit on January 6, 2008, 2:02 GMT

    if harbhajan used the word monkey then it is not racist in in indian parlance. aussies themselves absolve themselves of several sledging accusations having aleedgedly racist overtones by stating that in their culture the usage of a particular word is not racist and i guess that is fair enough. so if it was monkey what harbhajan said then racial abuse theory is stuoid argument. if anything else and is genuinely racist then he ought to be reprimanded but no more than Mc´Grath was for calling Jayasuriya a black monkey. here monkey was not racist its coupling with black made it racist. if bhaji is unfairly sentences for something such stupid then it would be time for bcci to flex its muscles and shows the Aussies their place.

  • Pete on January 6, 2008, 1:57 GMT

    A very good analysis of the current fracas. I personally don't think the Aussies would just make it up, and Chetan Chauhan's comments make me think he probably said it, but probably doesn't quite have his head round what a terrible word it is to call a black man, and I think the Aussies would normally leave it on the field. However I'm sure from reading the same stuff as me an Indian fan will conclude the Aussies are evil so-and-sos who are up to their usual gamesmanship tactics. Hopefully ther is some conclusive evidence either way, but I fear this will simmer. Leaving the stump mics on but not feeding the audio through to live coverage is surely the way to go so this doesn't happen again.

  • Aman on January 6, 2008, 1:56 GMT

    Why does Australia get to decide what is appropriate on a cricket field and what is not? If calling someone a 'monkey' deserves a ban, then anytime a player swears at someone or refers to their family in any manner, they should also be banned (preferabley forever (according to Mukul). I would rather be called a monkey rather than have abuse thrown at me from all quarters. This incident has shown that the Australians are sore losers who can't take the heat when someone stands upto them. Bravo Ponting for showing your true colours, keep crying, you are doing Australia proud!

  • John on January 6, 2008, 1:56 GMT

    Why does Mr Kesavan feel that Harbhajan should go down forever when Darren Lehmann went down for next to nothing. I think that Harbhajan would never have indulged in this sort of banter if not for the equivalent garbage that the Aussies throw out at their opponents. The bottom line is that the Aussies can never take to the level that they give, they're racist and should be taunted in equal measure every single time to put them in their place. Every time an Indian commentator or reporter supports them they're just becoming another case of Uncle Tom in the history of cricket.

  • Hindustani on January 6, 2008, 1:54 GMT

    Hi, I was shocked to hear the sad demise of sportsmanship on the field. Harbhajan was playing so good. I do not fear to say that Aussies need to be be educated on lessons of conduct. All of us could see the frustration on the pace battery of Australia and when harbhajan was enjoying knocking them off they started slandering. If crowds in india passes racist comment then its not the team problems. I bet the Aussies does it too. In fact this is the scene everywhere. If there is any action on Harbhajan I would consider this as a murder of true sportsmanship.

    Enjoy the match. GOOD LUCK TO HARBHAJAN...HE DID WHAT WAS NEEDED TO BE DONE

  • Aravindha on January 6, 2008, 1:53 GMT

    Time and again, it has been shown that Australians are sore losers. I am very surprised that the author has joined the Australian bandwagon to support the villification of Harbajan. Why draw distinction between racial taunts and verbal abuse that the Australian indulge in. If we are coming down heavy on Harbajan on his "alleged" remarks should we not go a step further and ban any comments on the field that is considered to be against the batsman.

    Shame on the author for producing a biased report and judging Harbhajan when there is no evidence to convict him.

  • Mohan on January 6, 2008, 1:53 GMT

    This is a shameless trial by media and in this blog the author has already indicted Bhajji. The author lacks an iota of unbiasedness and seems to be some wanna-be-white guy.

  • Sameer on January 6, 2008, 1:52 GMT

    I really dont understand how being called a monkey could be classified as a racial abuse. In India, even toddlers in school use the word monkey or "bandar" when referring to someone as stupid in a rather playful manner. Than Indians rever the monkey god is another case in point. Its considered a sin to kill a monkey, even accidently. On the side, the f word is prohibited. You cant use it in civil society, no matter what. So is the case with "bloody". You routinely see cricketers, more so the Australians, using the F word. Thats not all. Australians have this habit of attaching "bloody" to every thing under the sun. Shouldnt we take offense to that. Laughable in my opinion that the most abusive team in the world, one which is hated for its on field abusive behaviour is complaining like a cry baby. This might just be a joke but there has been a suggestion that Harbhajan might well have called Symonds "Maa Ki", which is a hindi abuse meaning Mother F&*, but one which sounds like monkey.

  • Aubrey Chatellier on January 6, 2008, 1:52 GMT

    If Mike Proctor finds Harbhajan guilty of racist abuse, then he should be dealt with very sternly. However if he is proved innocent of all charges and it is just another mind game used buy the Aussies to intimidate their opponents and also to take the attention away from the blundering umpires, which obviously went in the Aussies favour,then Symonds and Ponting should be charged for wrong accusations and deformation of character. This case has very funny ring to it as the Aussies known for their sledging and on feild verbal abuse in any sport they play suddenly find the roles reversed and they are not used to takeing it in as much as dishing it out.

  • Vishnu Pareek on January 6, 2008, 1:52 GMT

    If Harbhajan said what he has been accused of then why not Brett Lee testifying who was closer to the incident than either of those who are. Is it a coincidence that all of these are the one who have feared Harbhajan at times. Australians should file a patent for sledging because it appears they are the only one who are entitled to do. Your comment are certainly biased from that point of view - while we cannot call anyone a monkey but how is it racial. Finally, nobody is talking about Andrew Symonds' comments before the Indian series when he reportedly said that Indian cellebrations were triggering "animal instinct". What were Indians doing wrong then? And shouldn't a celeberity like Symonds be more responsible in commenting to avoid these unfortunate events.

  • K on January 6, 2008, 1:51 GMT

    it is well known that australia has a habit of provoking their opponents on the field. for one, a racist comment might be offensive whereas for another, a comment regarding family, etc. might be considered just as offensive. as it is, what might be considered as an insult in one culture is found to be a standard inclusion of the vernacular in another culture. so how is it to be determined that a word used by one person is racist when in their own homeland, to call one someone a "monkey" is not to make fun of their appearances - rather, it is considered to be an insult of their intelligence? so to sit there and penalize someone for using a phrase that is not offensive in their own vernacular is ludicrous. especially after that person has realized that this word, that is to mean one thing for him, takes on a new, perhaps offensive, meaning for someone else, and is then cognizant enough to make amends. and to not recognize that an effort to make amends was made is just inequitable.

  • rext on January 6, 2008, 1:48 GMT

    First Point. Harbhajan was not charged by Ponting, but by the two onfield Umpires! Second point. Kumble and Ponting were instructed by the Match Referee prior to the MCG Test that all and any comments, or reports of comments, either on the field or from the crowd were to be reported to the Field Umpires. Not to do so would have made either Kumble or Ponting subject to disciplinary action by the ICC.Ponting has not chesen to take Harbhajan to court as you state in your attempt to deflect responsibility on to Australia to feed misplaced nationalism! Guilt or innocence is not yours, or mine, to determine and that includes Ponting as well as Singh.

  • sledger on January 6, 2008, 1:47 GMT

    It's pretty obvious that when a touring team goes down under they're up against the Australian team, the umpires and the Aussie media who stir up and concote false rumours and innuendo. This was pre-planned by Ponting who wants to get rid of Harbhajan because he cant play him. Symonds is a fake and that's why Indians dont like him. Hell my wife who doesnt know much about cricket doesnt like him because he is a cheat and a slimy character-let's see if Mukul has the guts to put up this post.

  • Digjam on January 6, 2008, 1:46 GMT

    I am not sure in what way, calling Monkey is raccial abuse. In fact it is insult to Monkey race.

    Saying all, Its already clear that only 5 Ausis are talking about the abuse. I dont think its going to bring out any result.

    But one of them should be punished. If Harbhajan is not found gulty then Symond and Pointing must pay for accusing Harbhajan.

    They must pay to it because they tried to disturb Indian team by allegations in the middle of the game.

    One must pay either Harbhaja or Pointing and Symond. If no one is punished then ICC is mare bunch of Jokers sitting to make money.

    Digjam

  • sidpat on January 6, 2008, 1:44 GMT

    Let's not jump to conclusions here. The article discusses elaborately what should be done in case Bhajji is found guilty. In the same breath,shouldn't we discuss about the defamation suit against Symonds and Ponting if there is no hard evidence? And probably a ban of 4 tests? I have lived in US and observed that many times the accusations of racism root from the inferiority complex deeply fostered in the minds of the races that were downtrodden by other races for ages. Often anything said to a person of such race even for a valid reason is equated to racism either genuinely misunderstanding the comments or it is a ploy to satisfy some vested interests. I think Australians and even ICC also need a bit of training in seeing through this 2nd possibility. I don't understand how Mukul came to these conclusions,1.Sachin has not wholeheartedly backed Bhajji 2.Aussies famously leave onfield quarrels on field. They are in fact famous for their gamesmanship(not sportsmanship)on & off the field.

  • Amarta on January 6, 2008, 1:38 GMT

    "Monkey" or bandar in hindi is not a racist word in India. I do not see any reason why harbhajan shoud be punished for saying such a word.In that same breathe then people should be penalised when ganguly is called a bengal tiger or new zealanders are called kiwis. even australians are called kangaroos. why should anybody being referred to as an animal mean racist. I am calling you Mukul a bandar for writing such a foolish article please register a racism case against me.

  • Sumit Gupta on January 6, 2008, 1:37 GMT

    I think its fair to say that Australians did this deliberately to unsettle Harbhajan in teh middle of the match. Especially afer the hold which Harbhajan had on Ricky Ponting. He is his BUNNY. I hope I am not being accused of racist now

    I always hated Ricky Ponting but admired Australian team in general as a champion side. this incident leaves a bad taste in mouth

    In my view this team are not a bunch of champions , but just big BULLIES and LIARS . (I thought I will never say this but Gilchrist included, Ponting, Symonds, Clark and Hayden were always like this. Unless this bunch of 4 tricked Gilchirst by even lying to him. I held that man in great esteem)

    This team has lost my respect atleast

  • Rakesh Jani on January 6, 2008, 1:36 GMT

    Nice article Mukul,yes you are right They can't convict Harbhajen based on the statements made by pointing and co. Australians Are Sore Losers, First of all i am sure it must be Symonds Who must have started this and when They got back something back from Harbhajen they started Whining. Grow Up Aussies we all Know What tactices they apply On their Opponents.

  • Sumit Gupta on January 6, 2008, 1:35 GMT

    I think its fair to say that Australians did this deliberately to unsettle Harbhajan in teh middle of the match. Especially afer the hold which Harbhajan had on Ricky Ponting. He is his BUNNY. I hope I am not being accused of racist now

    I always hated Ricky Ponting but admired Australian team in general as a champion side. this incident leaves a bad taste in mouth

    In my view this team are not a bunch of champions , but just big BULLIES and LIARS . (I thought I will never say this but Gilchrist included, Ponting, Symonds, Clark and Hayden were always like this. Unless this bunch of 4 tricked Gilchirst by even lying to him. I held that man in great esteem)

    This team has lost my respect atleast

  • Mike Hunt on January 6, 2008, 1:34 GMT

    There's the old story about the elephant and the mahoot who were carrying some Westerners through the jungle when the elephant stopped to put a large trunk full of droppings in his mouth. "Why is the elephant doing that?" exclaimed one of the white ladies. "Because yesterday he ate a lawyer and wants to remove the foul taste from his mouth." replied the mahoot.

    What you're saying essentially is that Harbhajan is only guilty if he gets caught. If he called Symonds a monkey but only the Australians heard it, then the fault lies with the Aussies. If he called Symonds a monkey and it's picked up on the microphones or Tendulkar heard it, only then is he at fault.

    Sounds awfully like something a lawyer would say, Mukul.

  • Mahi on January 6, 2008, 1:33 GMT

    Mukul i kind of disagree with you here, The Australians have been known to be quite active on the field when it comes to sledging, Now when its their turn they are making a deal of a small thing. I agree that there should be no racism in cricket, if Harbhajan found guilty should be punished.. but we can not let it happen with Aussies.. They have always attacked the players with the personal or vulgar comments that should also have come under the breach of ICC then, McGrath had previously attacked ganguly about his personal lifem, Did india file any complaints? And part of the reason for complaint is that its Bhajji and Ponting does not want to miss the opportunity to get Bhajji out of the next game to have a better chance of staying at the wicket.

  • Ravi kissoon on January 6, 2008, 1:31 GMT

    I cannot understand this Australian team , they have a trend with doing and saying what they want to other teams but cannot handle anything being said to them.. Tell me how come nothing came out of the Mc Grath and Sarwan spat that went on for almost a minute and nothing came out of that.. If not for really poor umpiring decisions this Australian team would have been out for 250 or less and the world saw it live . So they they should shut up and stop complaining like spoil kids. They should be thanking these two umpires for all their support ..

  • Juned on January 6, 2008, 1:30 GMT

    I have been staying in the U.S. for the past couple of years and I have seen how some Indians here have absorbed the discourse of racism. Some of the brown folk here have a visceral antipathy towards black folk. Since many more Indians have become world travelers these days, a dummies guide to Racial History would be a useful guide for them. It'll also be useful to the Australian cricketers and their fans who seem to think they have overcome racism and are in fact victims of it! As far as the specific case of Harbhajan Singh is concerned, I don't think he should "go down forever". In fact, I think a more constructive 'punishment' would be to make him read a book on 'racial history' and ask him to give a 10-minute presentation to his team members!

  • rao on January 6, 2008, 1:29 GMT

    This is just rubbish. We don't know what Harbhajan said. We do know that the Australians frequently talk about players' wives in vulgar ways. Why is that just sledging? There is a cultural context. In India, monkey can even be a God, regardless of what the Australains say it is not racist. Saying something does not make it true. By way of anaology, Americans think it peculiar that Hindus regard beef as unacceptable,and so ban cow slaughter in many parts of India. But they accept it perfectly normal that horse slaughter is banned in Texas, even though in many other countries horse meat is acceptable. That is double standards, and the Australians are doing it so as to get Harbhajan off Ponting's back. They need to stop sledging before they can say monkey is racist.

  • Bharath on January 6, 2008, 1:28 GMT

    I completely agree with you that racial comments have no place anywhere, let alone cricket. When I saw the conversation between the umpires and Bajji, the first impression I got was of complete shock in bajji's face, because probably he was told by the umpires that the aussies alleged he made a racist comment. So I will still wait for the results to come out of the tribunal and its hearing. Along the same lines, I feel ICC should take a much sterner step than just stopping with racist slurs. It should ban the use of foul language as well, esp. the likes of the four letter word. Its not fair that what is offensive to the aussies are the only ones that are banned while asian players are continuously subjected to abuse that they cannot bracket as being racist. Calling me a M****** F***** is equally offensive to me, even though its not racist in nature. I think the aussies have opened a Pandora's Box and addressing this will be beneficial to all that like cricket for what it is, a game.

  • Sachin Tendulkar on January 6, 2008, 1:23 GMT

    aussies are a bunch of hypocrites. when they start flustering, they resort to such low levels. symonds can dish it out, but when it's his turn to take some, he cries foul. grow up "mite". if you want to use your mouth, be prepared to take some too. don't act like a 5 year old who likes to make fun of others but gets mad when someone pokes fun back at him.

  • Shaun on January 6, 2008, 1:21 GMT

    What Australians fail to realize is what is considered minor chit chat in their part of the globe might be considered extremely offensive in other parts of the world. Ricky Ponting and his boys with the exception of Gilchrist is not the beacon of "gentlemanly game" that is called cricket. Bloody hypocrites.

  • Abrem Sakar on January 6, 2008, 1:19 GMT

    Firstly your whole premise is wrong. So what if Symonds was called a monkey? Monkey is NOT used in a racist manner in India. Kids call each other monkey when teasing. "Bholo, bhaloo, bandar" all = monkey. Secondly, Symonds looks like a monkey, it is simple fact. The Indians have found a way to tease him and it really gets to him; so be it. Symonds simply can't tkae it and so the Aussies are claiming "racism" becuase of its emotiveness and subequent press it has conjured up. Finally, and let us not forget, all the swaering the Aussies do on field and have done in the past. They're getting a bit of their own back and can't handle. Tough luck.

  • Anady Singh on January 6, 2008, 1:14 GMT

    Mr. Kesavan you have lost it. There is no proof and you want to believe the Aussie media. It is people like you who are responsible for Indians taking ... How do you know Harhajan did it? Wait for the hearing before posting.

  • harry on January 6, 2008, 1:03 GMT

    Hey, What non-sense you are writing? Haven't you witnessed how Aussies abuse the other team. They think they are the supreme and cannot take if someone challenges them with the play. When they are defeated in the field, they use the vulger language. Same on you writing the arcticle. Last time I have read you.

  • Ankur on January 6, 2008, 1:02 GMT

    Mukul, you are a big time loser, instead of writing an article about supporting Indian cause, you are in way implying that Harbhajan said Monkey. Shame on you.....

  • deathcraker on January 6, 2008, 1:02 GMT

    2 things here - FIRST - abuse is abuse - it should not be discriminated as racial abuse, personal abuse, etc.Accoss the boundaries of countries, the classification of abuse 'll also vary. Monkey chants in India by no ways classified as racial, unless human race and animal race are the only races considered. Across different nations playing cricket you cannot have laws saying personal abuse is OK, race or color is not! Whatever harbhajan spoke may humiliate aussies, what they do definitely humiliates other teams. The rules should be more generic among the cricket community, not as per the british or australian definition of abuse. SECOND- aussies are master at abusing, they have done it more than anybody else.Indians have replied them in their own way. All teams do it to some level but aussies take it to different level, and they have now taken it to officials. Chanderpaul didnt go to match refree crying when McGrath said to him bad things. Very poor attitude shown by world champions.

  • Dario on January 6, 2008, 1:01 GMT

    I find it ironic that the Australians are complaining of racism. Look at the historical record-they have almost wiped out a whole native, indigenous people. Totally destroyed them-and these same people are complaining? LOL. I live in Australia and everday Indians have to deal with racism. Indians in Harris Park and Westmead (Sydney's West) have been routinely targeted. Now back to cricket-the Australians have an appalling reputation-ask anyone in World Cricket-ask the former members of the Indian team and they are crying racism. Go to any cricket game in Oz and you will hear a bunch of racist comments from the Aussie spectators-yet if an Indian responds to Aussie sledging he is a 'racist'. Australians are hypocrites-everyone supported Symonds not walking yet if a overseas player had done that they would have been screaming murder-saying that's not the "Aussie Way".

  • Dario on January 6, 2008, 1:01 GMT

    I find it ironic that the Australians are complaining of racism. Look at the historical record-they have almost wiped out a whole native, indigenous people. Totally destroyed them-and these same people are complaining? LOL. I live in Australia and everday Indians have to deal with racism. Indians in Harris Park and Westmead (Sydney's West) have been routinely targeted. Now back to cricket-the Australians have an appalling reputation-ask anyone in World Cricket-ask the former members of the Indian team and they are crying racism. Go to any cricket game in Oz and you will hear a bunch of racist comments from the Aussie spectators-yet if an Indian responds to Aussie sledging he is a 'racist'. Australians are hypocrites-everyone supported Symonds not walking yet if a overseas player had done that they would have been screaming murder-saying that's not the "Aussie Way".

  • Herman on January 6, 2008, 0:56 GMT

    I have to disagree with you totally. What ever happend to Australia saying "whatever happens on the field stays on the field?"

    Someone obviously must have said something to Harbhajan in the first place, they were really frustrated with the partnership.

    How can you say to get rid of Harbhajan forever? So what if he said to Symonds. "stop acting like a monkey" how is that racist?

    Australian's have given touring sides a hammering when they come here. Yet nothing happens.

    Also if Tendulkar said nothing happend and it was in the spirit of the game, then whats the problem? THe umpires didn't hear anything aswell!

    Harbhajan I feel did nothing wrong, Aussies were just frustrated with the partnership. Do you honeslty think Harbhajan said something to Symonds just randomly?????

    Can't believe you said to get rid of him forever. Even Ravi Shastri is backing the Indians.

  • Parikh on January 6, 2008, 0:52 GMT

    Unfortunatley, racism is indeed prevalent in all the countries. India is no exception. This "holier than thou attitude" from Aussies is surprising as they have a long legacy of racism against non whites.I vaguley remember Lehman had similar incidence against I believe Jayasuria a few years ago. I do not think that Lehman suffered any sever penalty in that episode. One has to wonder the motivation of Aussies in unsettling Harbhajan by inciting him to do dumb things.

  • anon on January 6, 2008, 0:48 GMT

    What if Harbhajan is not guilty? (I guess he is guilty and he knows it too)Will the Aussies apologise? Will Indians sue them for defamation? I guess the Aussies have taken winning at all costs a bit too far

  • Fanon on January 6, 2008, 0:43 GMT

    Yes harbajan might be guilty of derogatory comments, but how ironic is it that innumerable incidents that it is the self-righteous sanctimonious Australians who are accusing cricketers from a 'coloured' country for racially abusing one of their 'own'. And will Symonds come to realise how offensive his 'black-face' on-field persona is. Athletically gifted he may be but black Americans in particular would look upon him with great bewilderment. Is this guy taking the mickey or what? He seems more caricature, a cross between sideshow Bob and Al Jolson, on steroids. Expect him any moment to go on bended knee and wail 'oh mammy'. He sort of is at the moment. Oh mammy I been wronged, i.e.. Harbajan appears to be as witless. Whatver happened to the Indian way of letting the bat and ball do the talking and walking. Like Tendulkat, Laxman,and Dravid, and evn Ganguly. Gandhi said an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. meeting agression with agression only escalates violence

  • Prash on January 6, 2008, 0:43 GMT

    interesting article. In my opinion, the current australian team are very bad losers! they do not have my respect like the days when AB played. Ponting is very devious and has always come across as a person who will stoop to any level, to get an advantage. I have watched the 2nd test, and all I have seen is the likes of clarke, gesturing and trying to annoy the indians. The watch tapping incident. Then when Clarke got out for a duck, he refused to go. Ponting was out twice in the first innings, and Symonds had the umpires help in reaching his test hundred. Should the Aussies be the ones complaining?

  • Aditya on January 6, 2008, 0:41 GMT

    I do not support what Harbhajan did. But if he called Symonds a monkey I believe there is nothing wrong with it. If Symonds has taken offence to it then its his problem. I believe there cannot be two standards for us and them. If somebody had called us monkey nothing would have been done about it.

  • Alex on January 6, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    Indians are not good with words...they take extreme steps to irritate opponents...stupid sreesanth and bhajji , if you are not good with mouth , shut your mouth and play and win the game...Talking is useless when you can't win. Bhajji and sreesanth are bad role people for any youngesters to copy. You can sledge as long as it is funny , indians are not funny...they get emotional and angry. That shows weakness and inability talk good with words. If you can't talk , just play.

  • ganessinv on January 6, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    I think Mukul kesavan should know what is the truth before coming up with some prejudice on the matter. I think Mukul will become very unpopular in India. I have been watching cricket for a long time. Aussies are never a gentlemen. They are the most ugliest creatures when it comes to the gentlemen part of the game. Here in India we have a stupid writer, with full of imagination and accusing Harbhajan even though there is no concrete proof. Mukul please come out of the slavery. We got freedom in 1947 itself.

  • dsr on January 6, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    We don't know yet, what Harbajan said. But Australian team has always double standards. They want players to walk off the field, when they belive they were out. But they don't when comes to them. As tony Greig said, the sledging came from Australian team (from perth I believe), and when some body returned the same they didn't like it. I didn't mean that, when some body made racial comments, they shouldn't be punished. They should be punished, but there should be one standard. No double standards. They always try to get something into middle, when something going wrong for them. Here two things, one thing is India are going ahead and Ponting is scared of Harbajan. So want to keep him low. Second thing, there were many incorrect decisions, and they want to divert the talk from them. And they have got something at right time, and they picked it nicely. I don't think their attitude is not right for the game.

  • Kaiser Mukhtar from Hongkong on January 6, 2008, 0:33 GMT

    This doesn't seem to be pleasant case scenario for cricket as we know it was called a gentleman's game. But it doesn't look to be the same anymore. What i think is that if Harbhajan make any such comments then it should be dealt with properly(severely). But if its the other way round then the accusers be also given strong message not to behave as masters of the world. I fail to understand why did Symonds say anything to offend Harbhajan in the first place. If australlians couldn't get his wicket easily then they must infuriate the opponents to be outragious enough to say something offending to use it for settling the old score. Ricky Ponting's previous behaviour has not been exemplary when he often entanle with the umpires even and dictating his own mind. Anyway its not going to be fine with the game of cricket as Ponting has been supportive of the Fallen umpire Darrel Hair when he forteited the Oval test in favour of England arrogantly and didn't listen to anyone around. Regards.

  • Avanidhar Subrahmanyam on January 6, 2008, 0:28 GMT

    why exactly are these kesavans and vasus pandering to the anglo saxons that run cricinfo?

    where are the incidents where McGrath called Jayasuriya a black monkey and Darren Lehmann called Sri Lankans black c---s? McGrath was never brought to heel and neither was there such a hue and cry. australians are no saints. sorry, but the term monkey in india is just not racist. i used to call my friends monkeys. the term "black monkey" certainly is. there IS a difference. shame on kesavan for not recognizing this.

    indians are simply giving aussies a taste of their own medicine. get with the program!

  • Courtenay on January 6, 2008, 0:26 GMT

    If Harbhajan did racially tauntSymonds, then he should be suspended. Simple as that. There is simply no excuse for such behaviour. Harbhajan's efforts in the 2001 series were amazing, however his recent antics mean he might be remembered for other "feats".

  • Kumar Abhinava on January 6, 2008, 0:22 GMT

    There are going to be no winners from this 'incident' and hearing but cricket will be the loser. Also I have many (sour) grapes to mention : why there always seems to be double standards against the Indians. Yuvraj gets pulled up but Clarke and Ponting dont; Sehwag gets banned for excessive appealing but South Africans dont. May be Indians need to learn from Australia as how to sledge without being heard, how to build up the appealing to positively influence the Umpire (Warne being the master), when to walk and when not to walk to influence the Umpire (Gilchrist being the master). And why is Steve Bucknor still umpiring - its time to give him a good farewell.

  • Charmin on January 6, 2008, 0:18 GMT

    Any sort of racial abuse should not be tolerated by anybody. It's a shame on Harbajan to get involed in such an incident having made significant impact on the Australian batting downfall and he can be one of the key player in the series.However, if Harbajan strongly denies that he didn't call Symonds monkey, this incident could have been settled in the ground without letting the mass media intervension.Considering the way this case evolved, it is evident what the aim of the complaint made by Ricky Ponting to the umpires. Once Glen McGrath called Sanath Jayasuriya a Black Monkey in 1995 during the match and the TV records showed evidence to that?Recently,South African team was let down badly by such incident and they didn't react to that by making formal complaint.Why?umpires get involved in these cases straightway without allowing players to settle the matter in the ground? if the umpires feel that the case going out of hands then they should get involved.What's the morale of the case?

  • ganesh pal on January 6, 2008, 0:16 GMT

    why is nobody talking about what Symonds said to Bhajji. As the stats point out 80% of wrong decisions have gone in australias favour.. and symonds is no angel either.. we have all seen how he joins the banter and abuse club on the field and a few of the players who are testifying against bhajji.. namely hayden and clarke arent inncoent ducks on the field either.. so.. the final statement is this.. if the aussies like to punch then they should be read for a few blows as well.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • ganesh pal on January 6, 2008, 0:16 GMT

    why is nobody talking about what Symonds said to Bhajji. As the stats point out 80% of wrong decisions have gone in australias favour.. and symonds is no angel either.. we have all seen how he joins the banter and abuse club on the field and a few of the players who are testifying against bhajji.. namely hayden and clarke arent inncoent ducks on the field either.. so.. the final statement is this.. if the aussies like to punch then they should be read for a few blows as well.

  • Charmin on January 6, 2008, 0:18 GMT

    Any sort of racial abuse should not be tolerated by anybody. It's a shame on Harbajan to get involed in such an incident having made significant impact on the Australian batting downfall and he can be one of the key player in the series.However, if Harbajan strongly denies that he didn't call Symonds monkey, this incident could have been settled in the ground without letting the mass media intervension.Considering the way this case evolved, it is evident what the aim of the complaint made by Ricky Ponting to the umpires. Once Glen McGrath called Sanath Jayasuriya a Black Monkey in 1995 during the match and the TV records showed evidence to that?Recently,South African team was let down badly by such incident and they didn't react to that by making formal complaint.Why?umpires get involved in these cases straightway without allowing players to settle the matter in the ground? if the umpires feel that the case going out of hands then they should get involved.What's the morale of the case?

  • Kumar Abhinava on January 6, 2008, 0:22 GMT

    There are going to be no winners from this 'incident' and hearing but cricket will be the loser. Also I have many (sour) grapes to mention : why there always seems to be double standards against the Indians. Yuvraj gets pulled up but Clarke and Ponting dont; Sehwag gets banned for excessive appealing but South Africans dont. May be Indians need to learn from Australia as how to sledge without being heard, how to build up the appealing to positively influence the Umpire (Warne being the master), when to walk and when not to walk to influence the Umpire (Gilchrist being the master). And why is Steve Bucknor still umpiring - its time to give him a good farewell.

  • Courtenay on January 6, 2008, 0:26 GMT

    If Harbhajan did racially tauntSymonds, then he should be suspended. Simple as that. There is simply no excuse for such behaviour. Harbhajan's efforts in the 2001 series were amazing, however his recent antics mean he might be remembered for other "feats".

  • Avanidhar Subrahmanyam on January 6, 2008, 0:28 GMT

    why exactly are these kesavans and vasus pandering to the anglo saxons that run cricinfo?

    where are the incidents where McGrath called Jayasuriya a black monkey and Darren Lehmann called Sri Lankans black c---s? McGrath was never brought to heel and neither was there such a hue and cry. australians are no saints. sorry, but the term monkey in india is just not racist. i used to call my friends monkeys. the term "black monkey" certainly is. there IS a difference. shame on kesavan for not recognizing this.

    indians are simply giving aussies a taste of their own medicine. get with the program!

  • Kaiser Mukhtar from Hongkong on January 6, 2008, 0:33 GMT

    This doesn't seem to be pleasant case scenario for cricket as we know it was called a gentleman's game. But it doesn't look to be the same anymore. What i think is that if Harbhajan make any such comments then it should be dealt with properly(severely). But if its the other way round then the accusers be also given strong message not to behave as masters of the world. I fail to understand why did Symonds say anything to offend Harbhajan in the first place. If australlians couldn't get his wicket easily then they must infuriate the opponents to be outragious enough to say something offending to use it for settling the old score. Ricky Ponting's previous behaviour has not been exemplary when he often entanle with the umpires even and dictating his own mind. Anyway its not going to be fine with the game of cricket as Ponting has been supportive of the Fallen umpire Darrel Hair when he forteited the Oval test in favour of England arrogantly and didn't listen to anyone around. Regards.

  • dsr on January 6, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    We don't know yet, what Harbajan said. But Australian team has always double standards. They want players to walk off the field, when they belive they were out. But they don't when comes to them. As tony Greig said, the sledging came from Australian team (from perth I believe), and when some body returned the same they didn't like it. I didn't mean that, when some body made racial comments, they shouldn't be punished. They should be punished, but there should be one standard. No double standards. They always try to get something into middle, when something going wrong for them. Here two things, one thing is India are going ahead and Ponting is scared of Harbajan. So want to keep him low. Second thing, there were many incorrect decisions, and they want to divert the talk from them. And they have got something at right time, and they picked it nicely. I don't think their attitude is not right for the game.

  • ganessinv on January 6, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    I think Mukul kesavan should know what is the truth before coming up with some prejudice on the matter. I think Mukul will become very unpopular in India. I have been watching cricket for a long time. Aussies are never a gentlemen. They are the most ugliest creatures when it comes to the gentlemen part of the game. Here in India we have a stupid writer, with full of imagination and accusing Harbhajan even though there is no concrete proof. Mukul please come out of the slavery. We got freedom in 1947 itself.

  • Alex on January 6, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    Indians are not good with words...they take extreme steps to irritate opponents...stupid sreesanth and bhajji , if you are not good with mouth , shut your mouth and play and win the game...Talking is useless when you can't win. Bhajji and sreesanth are bad role people for any youngesters to copy. You can sledge as long as it is funny , indians are not funny...they get emotional and angry. That shows weakness and inability talk good with words. If you can't talk , just play.

  • Aditya on January 6, 2008, 0:41 GMT

    I do not support what Harbhajan did. But if he called Symonds a monkey I believe there is nothing wrong with it. If Symonds has taken offence to it then its his problem. I believe there cannot be two standards for us and them. If somebody had called us monkey nothing would have been done about it.