Harbhajan hit with ban

Indian spinner hit with 11-game ban for slapping team-mate.

Last Updated: 28/04/08 12:36pm

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Harbhajan: Misses IPL

Harbhajan: Misses IPL

Sky Bet

Harbhajan Singh is set to miss the rest of the Indian Premier League after being banned for slapping Indian team-mate Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, and wil also miss out on his bumper match fees for the rest of the competition.

The two players clashed at the end of the Mumbai Indians' defeat against Kings XI Punjab on Friday, resulting in the spinner being suspended.

Sreesanth was seen in tears after the clash between the two players at the end of the game, and TV footage was studied and players interviewed in the inquiry.

Mumbai skipper Harbhajan has now been found guilty of the slap on Punjab paceman Sreesanth after a disciplinary inquiry into the incident, and hit with an 11-game ban.

His actions were found to be a level 4.2 offence under the International Cricket Council's code of conduct.

Guilty

Harbhajan pleaded guilty to the offence and expressed his regret over the incident at a 45-minute hearing chaired by match referee Farookh Engineer, but has has also nevertheless been fined all of his match fees for the rest of the tournament.

"As a penalty for the level 4.2 offence committed by Mr Harbhajan Singh, we hereby order that Mr Harbhajan Singh be banned for the rest of the remaining matches of the first IPL event," IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said.

"We also order that Mr Harbhajan Singh be fined 100 per cent of any player fee that may have been paid or may hereafter be paid to him in respect of the remaining matches only.

"That does not take into account any of the two earlier matches (prior to Friday) that he may have played."

To add to his woes, 27-year-old Harbhajan is also now likely to face a separate inquiry from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who have appointed Sudhir Nanavati to head up a preliminary inquiry.

Mumbai Indians coach Lalchand Rajput was fined half of his match fee after being found guilty of not doing enough to prevent the incident.

"Rajput did not do enough to stop the incident," added Modi.

"Rajput was right behind Harbhajan when the incident took place. He didn't take any step to restrain him."

Sreesanth, meanwhile, was let off with a warning for his part in the clash.

Harbhajan will now likely miss the rest of the inaugural IPL, and would only return to the tournament should his Mumbai side reach the semi-finals of the Twenty20 event.

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