Sunday, April 27, 2008

Harbhajan vs Sreesanth - Round 1

When I woke up on Saturday I had an SMS from a friend, which said: "Harbhajan slaps Sreesanth".

Hopping from place to place over the weekend I wasn't following the daily cricket news so when I finally sat down to watch the afternoon game between Kolkata and Chennai, I heard about what had happened.

At the time I thought the blogging world would be buzzing with their thoughts on this. Especially after what had transpired in Australia during December / January.

After going though the TV news and views from my friends, I had gathered my thoughts on the incident. What I was going to write was all in my head.

As always, before writing my piece I scanned through the blogs I frequent daily, and as expected most of the bloggers, in their own unique way, had posted on the Harbhajan - Sreesanth incident.

While Uncle J did some research on why animals slap, which only he could do, Ottayan posted the results of a survey about which cricketers deserve to be slapped.

Miss Field found it funny that Sreesanth cried and King Cricket wasn't surprised at all that something like this had not happened to Sreesanth before. Or for that matter Harbhajan had not done something like this before.

AYALAC posted a video footage of Sreesanth crying and like the other Aussie and English bloggers loved seeing the man shed tears.

Nestaquin talked about the disgrace that Harbhajan Singh has brought to his country and his cricket team and discussed Bhajji's past unruly behavior.

And Soulberry captured the thoughts I had in mind to a large extent.

But it was one post that went on a different path than all the above - it claimed to share the facts from the Mumbai dressing room.

Homer shares with us what actually went down. Something that has not been shown or mentioned on TV, nor has it done the rounds of reliable websites. Thus far Harbhajan has been painted as the villian by the media, but Homer's post gives an entirely different perspective.

It was due to this post that I decided not to put my thoughts down on Well Pitched.

If what Homer says is true, then the ban on Harbhajan is unfair.

But then, what is this new video evidence that Cricinfo is talking about? Apparently Harbhajan has been suspended based on this.

What exactly happened?

I want to see the video.

Make your pitch on this post...



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22 Pitched:

  1. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    Remember Homer is a Mumbai Indian fan. :)

  2. Sree J said...
     

    Harbhajan is known to have a temper and my opinion, as of now, is that Harbhajan is guilty of physically harming another player, provoked or not. He had no right to physically harm another player.(I don't buy the "mistakenly hit him in the face" excuse) People like me who supported Bhajji during the Sydney fiasco are beginning to have doubts about his innocence now.

  3. Q said...
     

    Sree J, I felt the same thing when I heard about the incident. I wanted to do a post apologizing to all those in front of whom I had defended Harbhajan during the Sydeny fiasco. I had maintained that bhajji was ignorant and was mistaken to have said something he didn't, etc etc..

    Then I read Homer's post and I wondered what was going on so I didnt want to jump the gun blaming bhajji for everything. I know he has a history of hot temper.

    I really want to see that video.

  4. Q said...
     

    I know Ott, but I wouldn't think that homer would support bhajji just cos he's part of the Mumbai Indians squad. Bhajjis not from mumbai..

  5. Som said...
     

    Q, Me Too. Anyway, you apparently missed the Doosra exclusive on six possible reasons behind the Bhajji slapstick.

  6. Q said...
     

    I'm so sorry Som. I had meant to add your link to my blogroll over the weekend and it just slipped my mind. I will do that now and also read your exclusive :-)

  7. Homer said...
     

    Ott,

    Homer is a Mumbaikar :)

    Q,

    The article reproduced on the blog is written by Sunandan Lele, a respected columnist.

    Cheers

  8. Homer said...
     

    Q,

    From my vantage point, it is a question of justice.. If Harbhajan is wrong, throw the book at him.. But just because the public perception is that he is a hot head does not give anyone the right to hang him without ascertaining the facts.

    Cheers

  9. Q said...
     

    Homer, thats exactly what I did, i.e. I didnt attack Bhajji despite knowing his hot head when I was going to and I didn't cos I read ur post. I'll just wait for the verdict.

    I like Som's explanation abt Lalit Modi wanting some drama and controversy ;-)

  10. obaid said...
     

    Regardless of who slapped or taunted who, this is turning into a stupid catfight and does not become cricketers of international standing. What kind of example are these superstars setting for the young local cricketers who have hopes of making the national team?

    Nobody seems to be thinking of things from this angle

  11. nestaquin said...
     

    Blaming the victim is always the bully's final excuse and it is always Harbhajan's second defence after his initial denials are proved false.

    This is not a storm in a teacup but a very serious matter that I expect will be dealt with harshly.

    If he wasn't continually indulged from a young age he may have learned to control his emotions and violent tendencies.

    Indian cricket has created a spoiled ill-disciplined monster and now they have to live with it, tame it or destroy it.

    None of the choices are particularly palatable. However this incident ends it will be a sad day for all involved.

  12. Q said...
     

    U make sense Nesta. I agree, it is a problem that has not been addressed before. We'll find out today what happens after the hearing.

  13. Anonymous said...
     

    Regarding the Symonds issue, other than the ultra-nationalists (of whom there is a disproportionate amount on the internet), most "sensible" Indian commentators held that if Bhajji was guilty of saying what he was accused of saying, then he should be banned. The question really related to the evidence - mostly of a "he said, she said" variety - which many Indians, even those not particularly fond of Bhajji, felt was insufficient. You had the Aussies unanimously saying that the word "monkey" was used while Sachin said that he had heard nothing like that.

    No such issues here, though - we are told there is video footage of the incident.

  14. Anonymous said...
     

    Sorry for the follow-up, but I can't help being amused by the fact that many of the ultra-nationalists who were the first to defend Harbhajan in the Symonds affair -often, with ridiculous reasoning - are now the first in line to abuse him with words much worse than the "monkey" or "tere maa ki".

    I don't think Harbhajan deserves either the abuse that is currently being heaped on him or the "praise" that many gave him for his behavior in the Symonds affair. As Nesta has noted, Harbhajan's tendency to go out of control has long been known. The failure to correct this must lie not only with the BCCI but also his captains and colleagues.

    Personally, the first time I saw Harbhajan's tendency to go out of control was in 1998 in an Australia-India ODI at Sharjah when he dismissed Ponting (stumped Mongia) after being given some stick. He sent off Ponting with a "F* off" and Ponting who was on his way to the pavilion suddenly changed course to bump into Harbhajan. At that time, the incident was laughed off as the behavior of two new, aggressive and immature players: sadly, while Ponting has matured after initial troubles, Bhajji hasn't.

  15. Q said...
     

    I agree with mostly what Nesta and Anon have said out here. Much like what the PCB did with Shoaib in letting him off the hook on numerous occasions, the same has in a way happened with Bhajji.

    I read on Cricinfo I think something on the lines of "a bomb ticking to blow"...that article summed it up really well about what has happened.

    I guess the 11 match IPL ban along with 100% match fee fine will teach him a lesson or 2. Bhajji auctioned for $850,000 will get paid for only 3 matches meaning he's going to lose over 700K.

    Moreover, there will also be an additional BCCI ban and fine.

    At least India is ensuring that Bhajji regrets what he's done. Unlike the PCB who have always dished out convenient punishments for Shoaib.

  16. Soulberry said...
     

    Thanks Q for the link.
    I think the ban is understated.

    People have to be careful with their limbs....Sreesanth, and the reactions of the rest of the players there, did not suggest that they looked upon it as Harbhajan pointing elsewhere and accidentally bumping his hand into Sreesanth's face.

    It is another matter that Sreesanth may now not choose to press charges or make much of it. That's his choice and spirit of forgiveness.

    Both need an educational hiatus of meditation and undisturbed introspection.

  17. Sportsfreak said...
     

    Did Harby blubber after Ponting shoulder charged him in 98?

    No, I thought not.

    While I agree that Harbhajan has enough of a track record now as ban will do him good, what about Sreesenth? He’d have known the cameras were on him. It’s very hard to escape the feeling he was telling tales.

  18. Anonymous said...
     

    He’d have known the cameras were on him. It’s very hard to escape the feeling he was telling tales.

    Unlikely; I don't think he's that good an actor. (If he is, then some film director is missing out on an opportunity.)

    Yes, it is easy to make fun of him - a 25-year old, pace bowler at that, breaking down after a slap does look weird. But all the same, what happened did not look choreographed.

    I am not a sociologist but there have been other occasions when junior Indian players have broken down after insults by senior players in the Indian team. I remember reading that Anil Kumble, in one of his first matches as a substitute fielder was insulted (for dropping a catch which was not really his fault) by a "senior" to the extent that either he broke down or was on the verge of doing so. He was pulled up by another player who warned him that breaking down was just going to result in more of the same. (Sorry, don't remember where I read this.)

    It is tempting to speculate on what is going on here but that will be delving into pop sociology, something I'd rather not do.

  19. sportsfreak said...
     

    Oh come on Anon,

    His tears were even less convincing than those recently shed by Heather Mills-Packer-McCartney

  20. Anonymous said...
     

    Sportsfreak,

    Let us agree to disagree.

  21. Q said...
     

    "Both need an educational hiatus of meditation and undisturbed introspection."

    SB, I so totally think that this suggestion needs to be given to the BCCI.

    The IPL have announced their verdict with the ban and everything but the BCCI is yet to come out with their. Bhajji's in store for more.

  22. Q said...
     

    Sportsfreak, the tears for real definitely.

    But that in no way implies that Sree was innocent. He definitely must have uttered something to Bhajji.

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