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Thread: Harbhajan out from IPL in slapping row

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    Harbhajan out from IPL in slapping row

    4 28 2008 17418 l - Harbhajan out from IPL in slapping row

    MUMBAI: India spinner Harbhajan Singh was handed a 11-match ban from a domestic Twenty20 tournament on Monday after being found guilty of slapping national team-mate Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

    The bowler could also face further punishment from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which announced a separate probe into the incident that took place in Mohali on Friday night.

    Harbhajan, 27, allegedly slapped Sreesanth, 25, soon after a match, leaving the young paceman weeping inconsolably in full view of television cameras.

    Harbhajan, who was leading Mumbai, later apologised to Punjab's Sreesanth and the two appeared to have made up by calling each other "brothers."

    But match referee Farokh Engineer held a hearing on Monday after the Punjab team management lodged a formal complaint against Harbhajan to tournament officials. Engineer, a former India Test wicket-keeper, imposed a 11-match ban on Harbhajan, which means the off-spinner can play only if Mumbai make the semi-finals.

    "The referee studied video tapes of the incident and found the assault by Harbhajan was totally unprovoked," tournament organiser Lalit Modi said.

    The BCCI on Monday appointed lawyer Sudhir Nanavati to probe the charges against Harbhajan, who is on its payroll as a centrally contracted player.

    Nanavati will submit his findings within 15 days after which the BCCI will decide on further action against the bowler, a release from the cricket body said.

    Harbhajan could be charged by the BCCI under level 4 of the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct which deals with assaulting a fellow player.

    If found guilty, he could be banned for life or five Test matches or 10 one-day internationals.

    "The BCCI will not hesitate to take action against Harbhajan just because he has already been punished by the tournament organisers," said Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer.

    "We want to show that such acts of indiscipline will not be tolerated."

    Harbhajan was banned for three Tests earlier this year after being found guilty of making racist remarks against Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, but was let off with a fine following an appeal to the ICC.

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