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April 28, 2008
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain in the shorter versions of the game, hopes the authorities will check the sequence of events rather than go by what television footage in the Harbhajan Singh-Sreesanth controversy.
Comparing the row to the one between footballers Zinedine Zidane and Marco Matterazi at the last World Cup final, Dhoni felt that the act of provocation needed to be checked too.
Harbhajan was temporarily suspended from the Mumbai Indians side for allegedly hitting Sreesanth after the match between Mumbai and Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on Friday. His hearing, today, is based on additional footage of the incident from one of the host broadcaster's 21 cameras at the match. In the World Cup final, Zidane was sent off the field for head-butting Matterazi after the latter allegedly provoked him with personal remarks.
"What Zidane did was wrong, but Materazzi also was not completely in the right," Dhoni wrote in his column for the Hindustan Times. "Harbhajan is a very aggressive cricketer who plays hard and is there for his team-mates whenever they need him. Even Sreesanth has seen this supportive side of Harbhajan in the Indian dressing room. Sreesanth is also a very aggressive cricketer who likes to express his highs and lows very passionately on the cricket field. Off the field, you will not meet a more soft-spoken guy than Sree."
Dhoni was happy to know the two players had sorted things out between themselves and said the incident was unlikely to have any effect on the Indian dressing room.
"The incident ... was unfortunate because I know both of them, and they are not bad guys at all. Everybody is passing judgment based on what is reported in the newspapers, and I am too far from the scene to actually comment on it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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