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Harbhajan is no saint

Source: PTI
January 29, 2008 16:24 IST
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Temperamental off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is no stranger to controversy, having been booked five times for violation of the ICC Code of Conduct in his international career so far.

Harbhajan, who escaped with a 50 percent fine in Tuesday's hearing and managed to clear his name from the racism slur, often ran into trouble because of his volatile temper.

Then a rookie spinner, Harbhajan had removed Ricky Ponting, who was to prove his bunny in subsequent years, stumped in the one day match at Sharjah on April 22, 1998.

After getting rid of him, Harbhajan could not control his emotion and hurled a few words at the departing batsman, also pointing him to the pavilion.

Match Referee Talat Ali subsequently fined the spinner 50 per cent of his match fees with a suspended suspension of one ODI match.

Any further breach of the Code until 31st May 1998 could have earned him an automatic ODI ban.

In 2001, the off-spinner, along with teammates Virender Sehwag, Deep Dasgupta and Shiv Sunder Das earned the wrath of Match Referee Mike Denness in the Port Elizabeth Test match against South Africa.

Denness ruled them guilty of showing dissent at the umpire's decision and attempting to intimidate the umpire.

Accordingly, each of them was fined 75 per cent of match fee and a suspended suspension of one Test match until January 31, 2002.

Again during the 2003 TVS Cup match against South Africa in Dhaka, Harbhajan was found guilty of breaching Code 2.9 for directing foul and abusive language at the umpire.

Match Referee Clive Lloyd fined him 50 per cent of his match fee for the offence.

In 2005, Harbhajan ran into trouble again when he removed South African batsman Ashwell Prince and pointed towards the pavilion after the dismissal, which cost him 25 per cent match fees.

Though Harbhajan on Tuesday managed to shed the racism slur and got the three-Test ban lifted, it was the fifth such incidence in his international career so far, which shows him in poor light.

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