12 years of Monkeygate: IND vs AUS Sydney Take a look at that erupted right into a courtroom battle

The New Yr’s Take a look at on the Sydney Cricket Floor (SCG) — the third Take a look at of the India vs Australia collection, as was the case 12 years in the past like it’s this yr — noticed one of many ugliest controversies in cricket erupt on account of a cocktail of weird umpiring choices and a private stand-off between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds which was a racial controversy.

Umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson had already been within the highlight a number of instances within the match, however the officers’ hand was compelled past return when Australia captain Ricky Ponting, on the final day of the Take a look at, complained to them that Harbhajan had racially insulted Symonds by calling him a “monkey”.

Australia beat India by 122 runs within the Take a look at, however the actual battle was but to return. It was fought in a courtroom over the subsequent few days, with Harbhajan having been suspended for 3 Checks.

Harbhajan had “a really indignant” Sachin Tendulkar in his nook, with BCCI threatening to tug out of the tour.

In ‘Enjoying It My Manner’, Tendulkar wrote “Anil Kumble (the then captain) and I took the lead and it was unanimously determined that we’d boycott the tour if Bhajji’s ban was upheld.”

“I wish to state very clearly that the incident arose as a result of Andrew Symonds had been regularly making an attempt to impress Bhajji and it was inevitable that the 2 would have an altercation sooner or later. Whereas strolling as much as Bhajji to attempt to calm issues down, I heard him say ‘Teri maa ki’ (Your mom…) to Symonds. It’s an expression we regularly use in north India to vent our anger and to me it was all a part of the sport,” the batting maestro mentioned.

Captain Anil Kumble made India’s stand on the match clear on the post-match press convention. “Just one crew is taking part in within the spirit of the sport,” he mentioned.

READ | Only one side was prepared to give their version: Match Referee Mike Procter

Testimonies of the incident flew in from either side. Match referee Mike Procter discovered his {photograph} splashed on the entrance pages of Indian newspapers. Michael Clarke was one of many Australians who insisted he had heard Harbhajan, whereas India’s senior gamers backed Harbhajan.

Ultimately, Harbhajan’s punishment was lowered to a 50% match-fee effective. ICC eliminated umpire Bucknor from the third Take a look at in Perth. India received that Take a look at in Perth however Australia drew the ultimate Take a look at in Adelaide and received the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Justice Hansen’s listening to, with Indian and Australian gamers giving their model of occasions. (File Picture/AFP)

Excerpts from the guide as Procter elaborates his facet:

“Symonds had beforehand accused the Indian spinner of racial abuse in Mumbai, they usually unsurprisingly didn t have a lot time for one another. In fact, each gamers have been essential to their groups, particularly on this specific match.

“I can nonetheless see Ricky Ponting bounding off the sphere, and up the steps in an actual hurry. This normally meant an injured finger or, extra seemingly, nature s name can t anticipate the approaching tea break. Nevertheless it was infinitely extra critical than that. It was an enormous allegation, given all of the efforts that the ICC had undertaken to eradicate racism from the sport.

“We had a tape of the incident in query, however the sound had one way or the other disappeared.

READ | ‘There were 7 mistakes’: Irfan Pathan refuses to buy Steve Bucknor’s explanation on 2008 Sydney Test

“The Indian supervisor, Chetan Chauhan, was then invited to ask Ponting any questions referring to the matter, which he duly did. His query was extra of an allegation, as he accused Australia of creating up the entire racism incident, just because they wished Harbhajan off the tour, as a result of he saved getting Ponting out. Your entire Australian occasion was shocked by the allegation, however Chetan was not finished simply but. He knowledgeable Ponting that the racism cost was fully made up, as a result of as Indians, it was simply not potential for them to be racist.

“Chetan then produced an album of images, with princes and princesses in regal gown, however with monkey heads. He mentioned that monkeys have been an Indian deity, additional reiterating their level that the whole episode had been made up, as a result of they wouldn’t wish to insult monkeys.”

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