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January 29, 2008 / lazybug

Get a Life, Mr Procter

Now that Harbhajan Singh has been absolved of racism charges, one question begs to be answered: Shouldn’t Procter be tried for being hasty in making the decision of branding Harbhajan a racist?

Here’s the transcript of the conversation that took place in the middle that day:

Symonds: We don’t need it, do it to your teammates (on Harbhajan patting Brett Lee on his back with his bat)

Harbhajan: Audio inaudible

Symonds: Don’t yell, go and yell at your teammates

Harbhajan: Audio inaudible

Symonds: (First part inaudible) what monkey, big monkey, you don’t know what you’ve said.

Hayden: You know this is a S*** word, this is racial vilification. This is the second time you’re doing this

Hayden: You don’t know what you have done.

Harbhajan: Audio inaudible

(Audio inaudible when Sachin tries to calm things down)

Ponting to Harbhajan: (First part inaudible) You have had it, you’ve had it, mate!

Harbhajan to Ponting: He started it, not me.

(Audio inaudible when Ponting goes to Bucknor)

(Audio inaudible when Benson is talking to Harbhajan. Lip movement suggests Benson saying, “Did you say it?”)

Harbhajan: (Audio inaudible but lip movement suggests) “No, no, I didn’t say that, I didn’t say anything.”

If this evidence ‘convinced’ Procter that Harbhajan called Symonds a Monkey that too with the sole intention of being racist, then god help his future bakras.

The next person who needs to be questioned is Symonds. Why did feel so offended when Bhajji patted Lee on the backside? Ottayan sums it up for me:

Hehehe..

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49 Comments

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  1. JB / Jan 29 2008 10:05 pm

    Totally agree Lazybug.

    Procter should be executed. As should anyone else who’s decision is overturned on appeal.

  2. Ottayan / Jan 30 2008 12:18 am

    No one has come out of this episode smelling of roses. Particularly the administrators. 🙂

  3. Liju Philip / Jan 30 2008 12:23 am

    Bhajji should first find out how much the fellow Procter is worth and sue him 10 times the amount in an civil court.

    When he cant pay, have him declared bankrupt and let him go. That should be the punishment for Procter.

    It was a needless controversy started by Symonds. He needled Bhajji and got a mouthful. I always believe, if you cant complete a fight, don’t start or don’t get involved.

    Think its high time the ICC cracks down on all this crap that the players say about sledging, mental games and ban anyone who opens his mouth on the field. Even if it means that they have to fit additional 10 mikes on the pitch for grabbing evidence.

    We’ve had enough of this racism bullshit.

  4. JB / Jan 30 2008 12:36 am

    No……it was started by Bhajji.

  5. Liju Philip / Jan 30 2008 3:46 am

    nope, look at the transcript, it was symonds who started.

    the incident started with bhajji’s tap on lee’s butt.

  6. JB / Jan 30 2008 3:52 am

    The incident started in Mumbai, which was started by Bhajji.

    But if you want to get specific, what was Bhajji doing tapping Lee’s butt? Which started the incident in Sydney.

    But at any rate, do you think it matters who starts what as far as racism is concerned?

  7. Liju Philip / Jan 30 2008 5:21 am

    Maybe Bhajji likes Lee’s butt. So, he was trying his luck. But then he didnt realise that Symonds had some sort of a patent on it. lol.

    Jokes apart, when Lee has no problem, why’s Symonds playing Indiana Jones?

    There was no racism involved. Bhajji has been absolved of racism by an independent New Zealand judge.

  8. Aravind / Jan 30 2008 5:35 am

    The press says that India influenced the decision by their threats. But if you look at it this way: NZ judge was told by Cricket Australia that a decision against India would make CA bankrupt as most broadcasters would sue them for breach of contract, if India left. So, either CA was really worried about its money or really concerned about racism against their players. They did not have the guts to stand up for it.

    But India, by threatening to leave and also chartering a plane to leave as a team did play a very dirty game.

  9. JB / Jan 30 2008 5:43 am

    Liji,

    That is crap. It was a deal between the ICC, BCCI and ACB and to say otherwise is naive.

    The decision is a joke. Bhajji is a coward.

  10. Chittaranjan / Jan 30 2008 7:06 am

    I’ve read many articles that said the BCCI arm-twisted CA into coaxing its players to drop the racism charges and instead downgrade it to a lesser offense. The Aussie players objected but finally succumbed.

    The threat of India (& SL too) pulling out of the ODI Series thus resulting in huge revenue losses plus the possibility of ESPN/Star suing CA over telecast loss, was responsible for the verdict, IMO.

  11. lazybug / Jan 30 2008 7:18 am

    JB,

    Amidst all your thoughts about the decision, you seem to be forgetting that there was no evidence against Harbhajan and also that Procter was very hasty in giving the decision. It’s also quite clear that Harbhajan didn’t utter the word ‘Monkey’…he said something in Hindi which was misheard by the Aussies.

    Banter and sledging comes very easily to the aussies and they pounced on the opportunity. Same is not the case with Harbhajan…he would either curse left right and centre or keep quite…in this case it was Symonds who irked him. If aussies are so keen on leaving the past behind and moving along, then they should stop referring to what happened back in India in 2007. It was the first time for many players, on both the sides. As Danny Morrison had put it, they ran to the teacher on that issue like school kids.

    As for the ‘deal’, I am sure BCCI used its clout, but then, no board would tolerate a decision that was based on such sparse evidence.

  12. Chittaranjan / Jan 30 2008 7:25 am

    @Lazybug: Are we absolutely sure that Bhajji did not call ‘Symonds’ a Monkey?

    Yes, there wasn’t evidence and hence he should be let free but why does the BCCI not stress this point (lack of evidence) and instead resorted to aggressive maneuvers? The could have easily insisted to Hansen that Procter’s judgment was based on only the Aussies’ words, and there is no evidence and urge him to deliver an impartial judgment.

  13. lazybug / Jan 30 2008 8:03 am

    Here you go Ycee: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/What_did_Harbhajan_tell_Symonds/rssarticleshow/2741263.cms

    ” When the Counsel for the Australian players asked Harbhajan what he had said, Harbhajan said “I admit I abused Symonds and said m- – – – (an abusive word in Hindi). “

  14. lazybug / Jan 30 2008 8:07 am

    @Yce:”The threat of India (& SL too) pulling out of the ODI Series thus resulting in huge revenue losses plus the possibility of ESPN/Star suing CA over telecast loss, was responsible for the verdict, IMO.”

    Amidst all this, it should not be forgotten that the charge itself was baseless.

  15. JB / Jan 30 2008 8:12 am

    Thankyou Chittaranjan,

    No – I realise that there is no evidence. There is no “smoking gun”.

    I beleive Bhajji has lied.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Aussies beleive he said it. There is a track record of Bhajji doing this before.

    This combined with the pressure of the BCCI, the ICC and the ACB, add the fact that Bhajji changed his story from saying nothing to that he was talking Hindi. Add the fact that the decision was announced in India before the judge delivered the verdict.

    I think he said it.

    If you conceed that there is a chance that he said it, then you will understand why this has left a “taste of bitterness”.

  16. Chittaranjan / Jan 30 2008 12:55 pm

    @Lazybug: Thanks for the link.

    I wonder why that wasn’t disclosed before! It almost seems like an ‘afterthought’. But since Sachin testified that it was a swear word that was mis-interpreted as ‘monkey’ and he’s not one to lie, I tend to believe him.

    But all of this does paint the BCCI in a poor light. Instead of defending its player on the basis of his innocence, they were busy parading its strength (by taking the ODI players to Adelaide) and displaying a ‘Big Brother’ attitude.

    Well, as they say…all’s well that ends well. The aussies won’t agree tho 😉

  17. vinay / Jan 30 2008 3:35 pm

    First Ponting was having a tough time against Harbhajan. Later he said that they would target Harbhajan during the Sydney test. Rest is all history.

    It was not necessary for Symonds to interfere when Lee was not reacting. Further, Hayden invigorated by poking his nose just because it was Harbhajan (I think and believe).

    Seems to be a well thought out Hollywood script.

  18. lazybug / Jan 30 2008 4:38 pm

    Check this out JB. I know you would not agree to this, but still. http://timesnow.tv/NewsDtls.aspx?NewsID=5693

    @Ycee: “But all of this does paint the BCCI in a poor light.”

    That is right, but it’s one way of looking at the situation. BCCI backed Harbhajan the same way Sri Lanka backed Murali…only difference being this was a racism charge, much more serious for the player’s future.

  19. JB / Jan 30 2008 10:30 pm

    “after being accidently misled in the hearding”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23134722-601,00.html

  20. Liju Philip / Jan 31 2008 12:27 am

    JB, The most important lines in the article have been missed out

    “Hansen even accuses Symonds of breaching a handshake deal made when Harbhajan allegedly first called him a monkey in India.

    “Mr Singh had innocently, and in the tradition of the game, acknowledged the quality of Mr (Brett) Lee’s bowling,” Hansen said. “That interchange had nothing to do with Mr Symonds but he determined to get involved and as a result was abusive towards Mr Singh.

    “Mr Singh was, not surprisingly, abusive back. He accepts that his language was such as to be offensive under 2.8.

    “But in my view even if he had used the words alleged an ‘ordinary person’ standing in the shoes of Mr Symonds who had launched an unprovoked and unnecessary invective laden attack would not be offended or insulted or humiliated in terms of 3.3.(racial vilification).”

    I think the above lines from the Judge rests the case as to who was responsible for the whole mess.

  21. Liju Philip / Jan 31 2008 12:31 am

    …also these lines.

    “”It is not without significance that the Australian players maintain other than Mr Symonds that they did not hear any other words spoken, only the ones that are said to be of significance to this hearing,” he said.

    “This is a little surprising in the context where there was a reasonably prolonged heated exchange. Indeed Mr Clarke went so far as to say that he did not hear Mr Symonds say anything. Given Mr Symonds’ own acceptance that he initiated the exchange and was abusive towards Mr Singh, that is surprising.”

    Perhaps the most surprising part of the judge’s findings are his criticisms of Symonds for provoking the incident and suggestions that a reasonable person would expect to be racially abused if they swore at somebody. “

  22. JB / Jan 31 2008 12:44 am

    Yup, Symonds has been made the scape-goat.

  23. lazybug / Jan 31 2008 5:42 am

    I agree Harbhajan has not exactly had a ‘clean past’. He was fired from the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore for indiscipline a few years ago. May be he did deserve a harsher punishment, I wouldn’t mind that. But Justice Hansen has said that Bhajji is not racist. That line still stands. And it’s the truth.

  24. JB / Jan 31 2008 7:45 am

    Nope, that’s the verdict.

    Just to be totally clear. I am not saying that Bhaji is racist. I am saying that he said something racist and has got away with it.

    Sorry – still angry about this.

  25. lazybug / Jan 31 2008 2:03 pm

    JB,

    Our positions seem to have been reversed. When harbhajan was banned you sounded more like what I, Liju and Vinay sound here. Now the tables have been reversed. give some, take some, eh? 😉

  26. JB / Jan 31 2008 10:00 pm

    Lazybug, you are completely correct. Our positions have reversed.

    You complained about the first trial. While I had no real issue with it, I could understand the reason for the appeal. Three matches was a bit stiff for something that shouldn’t have reached that far in the first place.

    The result of the appeal however was a new trial which as it turns out was also flawed and subject to considerable pressure and blackmail from the BCCI.

    But besides all that, what really narks me is that Symonds has become the accused, when he was the victim in the first place. And the guy who caused all the issues from Mumbai to now has got off scott free.

  27. JB / Jan 31 2008 10:34 pm

    Sorry – just to continue this rant.

    I really fear that this issue is not going to go away. Who knows what is going to happen at the MCG tonight. It may continue and make matters even worse. And then the Aussie crowd will get blamed and talk will continue around how the Australians are cheaters, racists and bad losers.

    And now that Sreesanth has turned up, who knows where this is going to end up. And then when the Aussies turn up in India, it will probably continue.

    This has the potential to spin out of control and the ability to reconcile and move on will become increasingly difficult. What could have been a wonderful rivalry simply may become an ongoing headline – with no winners and only losers.

  28. Liju Philip / Feb 1 2008 12:32 am

    Jb,

    even i have a feeling that this issue is not gonna die down for quite a long time to come.

    India has tasted blood and the calming influence of Kumble, Dravid and Ganguly on the ground is not there. The one day team of India is quite young and would be wanting to prove a point.

    The aussie spectators might not be wanting to let things rest. It looks like the lull before the storm. But i would be happy to be proven wrong in this instance.

    Honestly, all i want to see now is some good hard no-nonsense, cricket. Simple. And whack the butts of the next idiot who opens his mouth on the pitch….lol.

  29. JB / Feb 1 2008 12:56 am

    Liji,

    I couldn’t agree more.

  30. lazybug / Feb 1 2008 8:33 am

    JB,

    I too feel that Harbhajan got away with less than his fair share. The process, as you said, was flawed then and also during the second hearing.

  31. Chittaranjan / Feb 1 2008 8:36 am

    Maybe its time to let the bat & ball do the talking.

    Bring on CB Series……

  32. JB / Feb 1 2008 9:39 am

    I think it might work out. Generally the crowd has been fine.

  33. arvind / Feb 1 2008 12:58 pm

    Is that word monkey so abusive..
    i mean monkeys are our ancestors ..aren’t they ???
    what the point in making a big issue..
    it all is started by australians when they came to india..
    where would the monkeys take their faces if they hear what has been going on their name 😛
    ok fine..everything’s over ..lets move on to the cricket..

  34. arvind / Feb 1 2008 12:59 pm

    man i missed the conversations …shit..
    next time you start something buzzz me so that i can join you 😛

  35. lazybug / Feb 1 2008 1:00 pm

    Sure arvind. I’ll ping you. 🙂

  36. arvind / Feb 1 2008 1:11 pm

    thanks a lot..
    hope to see some controversies soon..
    😀

  37. JB / Feb 2 2008 1:14 am

    Arvind,

    I looked into this. Apparently “monkey” is very racist. From what I understand some African soccer players, playing for European teams, have had bannana’s thrown at them when touring parts of Eastern Europe.

    Persoanlly I think that Symonds simply took offense to the comment because it was Harbhajan that said it. Maybe Harbhajan said it to wind-up Symonds, maybe it was a miscommunication. But the second time it was done was not an accident, and that’s what caused all the trouble.

  38. arvind / Feb 2 2008 2:04 am

    @ jb
    that depends on how you percieve things…
    i cant understand that when some body says fuck ur mother or wife… they go mostly unharmed and sometimes may be warnings are given..but the word monkey is given a special treatment ..why?? just because australia complained it..
    i am sure that if the australkians hadn’t complained no body else would have ever used the word monkey again..
    probable some spectators were indane to use it..
    i agree and but because they made it a issue its haunting them again..
    well, i still beleive that if sachin feels he dint hear it then harbajan dint say it too..

  39. arvind / Feb 2 2008 2:08 am

    if stilll as an australian it hurts …i cant do anything but to apologise to you as an indian spectator..
    but never oversee what austrlains do on the field..

  40. JB / Feb 2 2008 10:17 am

    I guess it’s all up to the perception of the individual. It doesn’t hurt me in the slightest.

  41. Arul John / Feb 4 2008 4:20 pm

    Proctor needs a procotologist.

    Maybe Proctor needs to done like this cute IRS pencil sharpener

  42. Arul John / Feb 4 2008 4:22 pm

    Oh, I forgot.

    Definition of PROCTOLOGIST: Someone who inspects butts for a living, just like how dentists inspect teeth, podiatrists inspect feet, etc.

  43. JB / Feb 4 2008 11:15 pm

    http://sports.in.msn.com/cricket/stories/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1221633

    4 matches for abusing a Sri Lankan player. I guess the players record was taken into account?

  44. arvind / Feb 5 2008 3:43 am

    @ jb
    he has been charged under abusive language and not under racism…
    harbajan was charged first against racism and that involved the whole country..it was totally obnoxious and unacceptable..thats why we indians were against it.,
    and now it is clear that harbajan had used the word “maa ki ” which is abusive word here in india like you use the f*** word…
    so whts the big deal..symonds provoked it and he got what he deserved..

Trackbacks

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