Harbhajan reprimanded for unsporting behaviour

Mirpur: Temperamental India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was reprimanded by the ICC for kicking an advertising board during the first day of the ongoing second cricket Test against Bangladesh.

Harbhajan pleaded guilty to contravening Level 1 offence (Section 2.1.2) of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials, which relates to “abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings”.

The incident took place when Harbhajan kicked and damaged an advertising board after a misfield while guarding the boundary on Sunday.

Match referee Andy Pycroft, however, did not call for a hearing as the off-spinner accepted the decision without contest.

“While giving my verdict, I took into account that Harbhajan admitted his mistake and apologised for his actions,” Pycroft said.

“I also accepted Harbhajan’s explanation that he had kicked the advertising board in frustration. Professional cricketers try to give their best effort when they are on the field and whenever they don’t live up to the standards they have set for themselves, they feel disappointed. However, venting their frustrations in this manner is unacceptable,” he said.

“I would now expect him to maintain a certain level of self-control in future and avoid the repeat of the incident as he sets an example for millions of youngsters who follow him around the world,” said Pycroft.

The charge was brought by on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Marais Erasmus, third umpire Sharfuddoula and fourth umpire Enamul Haque.

All Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee.

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