The Sydney Saga: Pawar Should Act if Bhajji's Ban is Not Revoked
Now the ball is supposedly in Mr. Pawar’s court. Mr. Pawar, need to look no farther. He just needs to think back to the time last year when the Aussies tossed him off the stage to pose for photographs. He let them off lightly then. Now they have not played the game in the right spirit, pressurized the umpires to give wrong decisions and to make matters worse they have accused Harbhajan of being racist. This a serious allegation and deserves a serious response. If the ICC does not revoke the ban, it is time to call it quits (even if it involves writing Cricket Australia a check).
In addition, here are a few more issues that seem to have been lost in the discussion.
The possible reversal of the ban does raise some questions. If Bhajji is found not quilty after the appeal process, Mike Procter must be suspended from his referee job for a couple of series, shouldn’t he? What was the basis for his decision on the issue?
Bucknor’s removal from Perth is insufficient. The man has a terrible record against India. (One theory doing the rounds is that he has been harassed by people of Indian origin back in the West Indies?) and he should never be allowed to officiate in a match featuring India. In general, it might be a bad precedent, but show me another umpire who has as disgraceful a record as Mr. Bucknor against a specific country.
Why is the hearing on Hogg being delayed? After all it happened in the same Test match. It is an equally serious charge. But why is the case not being heard?
Last but not the least, why not annul the Sydney Test result? It might be hard for India to demand this, but certainly Cricket Australia can make the offer as part of a broader peace mission. It will certainly help rein in Ponting and his bunch of unruly boys and help Australian Cricket regain some of the respect that it surely has lost since the Sydney Test.