Justice? …….Perhaps, and at what cost…..
Harbhajan’s original sentence handed out in a purely uneven-handed manner by Mike Procter, has been reduced. Apparently, Harbhajan did abuse Symonds, but not racially.
As I had mentioned before, the original conclusion reached by Procter seemed hardly justified. This was further confirmed by the actual text of the rulings which is full of contradictions. However, the manner in which the BCCI has acted while the appeal was being heard, reiterating their pull-out threat, and even chartering a plane to bring the players back if the judgment was not to their liking, leaves a bad taste. As Peter Roebuck says:
India is not some tinpot dictatorship but an international powerhouse, and ought to think and act accordingly. Brinkmanship or not, threatening to take their bat and ball home in the event of a resented verdict being allowed to stand was an abomination. It sets a dreadful precedent. What price justice now?
Other questions remain unanswered. What did Symonds say to Harbhajan to provoke the latter (there have been rumors that it was a homophobic statement, which should not be treated with any less importance than a racial slur) ? How is it that Michael Clarke, who by all video evidences was too far away removed from the action to have heard anything provide testimony saying he did hear the word being used ? Isn’t that perjury ?