29 January 2008

Harbajan gets off

It's interesting that the footage of the players around the time of Harbajan Singh's alleged comments has now come out, and you can hear what the players say, with the exception of the vital bit - when Harbajan allegedly called Symonds a "monkey"!! Nevertheless it shows the conversation around that time and I have to say in my opinion, and it's only an unproven opinion, Harbajan has been lucky. I've previously said on Cricket Burble that unless it can be proven through a microphone or one of the umpires hearing the comments, then Harbajan should be assumed to be innocent.

I stand by that, but the conversation doesn't appear to be contrived to try and get a guy into trouble. If the Aussies wanted to frame Harbajan then why not just say he said it, and without all this chat that was recorded? You can watch the video and hear the comments here.

What is said is:
Symonds: "Go and yell at your team mates" (obviously there has been some sort of conversation before that point which isn't heard)
Singh appears to say something back but the comments aren't picked up.
Symonds: "You called me monkey again?"
Hayden: "You've got a witness now champ. That's the last time."
Harbajan: "No, listen, he started it."
Hayden: "Doesn't matter mate, it's racial vilification mate. It's a sh*t word and you know it."

There is no doubt that in a world where everyone should be innocent until proven guilty, Harbajan should not be found guilty. But that's different to saying that he's innocent. I believe that in Scotland they have verdicts of "unproven" in court cases which basically means they think the guy or girl did it, but can't prove it. The fact that Harbajan was found guilty of a slightly lesser charge (compared to racist comments) of obscene language, just goes to show that is the view of all concerned - there is no evidence of obscene language either, but it was a desperate attempt to keep the peace and punish him for something that it seems he probably did. He should have been let off entirely or found guilty of making racially abusive comments.

Anything in between, in the absence of any evidence, is farcical.


Anonymous said...


This just shows how spineless the ICC are. Apparently the BCCI had a private jet waiting to take the INdian players back to India if Harby was found guilty therefore throwing the one day series into disaray. Even Cricket Australia told its team to accept the lesser charge as they were worried about the financial loss from odi series.
Now I am more than happy that the aussies had it shoved down them as it shows whilst they are the best team (just) they are not the most powerful. The flip side is that it is a sad day for cricket when the BCCI can influence prceedings this much.

Aussie Dave said...

I think the reason Harbajhan was found guilty of offensive language, despite the lack of evidence is because he actually admitted it.

Ed said...

but presumably he admitted it on the basis that no-one would try to take the racist charge any further? Cynics would assume that was all part of a deal, rather than being based on the reality of what was actually said.

Ed said...

p.s. I think the Aussies are comfortably the best team - if it's the Indian's that you think are running them close (which I'm guessing it is!), it's worth considering what the result of the 3rd Test would have been if Australia had picked their best team....