India spinner Harbhajan Singh on Sunday slammed the ICC for letting off Australian opener Cameron Bancroft with only a fine of 75 percent of his match fee and not a ban, despite his role in the ball tampering scandal in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Harbhajan recalled the 2001 South Africa Test where five Indians - Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Shiv Sunder Das and Deep Dasgupta, apart from him, were banned for at least a Test by match referee Mike Denness for various offences.
He also referred to the 2008 Sydney Test against Australia, infamously described as Monkey gate, where he was banned for three Tests for an alleged racial slur against Andrew Symonds.
"wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidence whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules," he tweeted.
wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidences whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) March 25, 2018
Former England captain Michael Vaughan too was critical of ICC's decision.
"1 Match Ban & 100 % March fee Fine for Smith #ffs ... 75% match fee fine for Bancroft and some bloody De merit points for Bancroft ... Pathetic penalties for CHEATING ... Surely this moment was the time to set a precedent ... !!?? All the team should be penalised," he wrote in his handle.
If you only get a 1 Match ban and hit with a fine over admitting to cheating as an International Captain!! ... If the ICC are going by their list of sanctions against certain actions I think it’s time they were updated ... #SAvAUS— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 25, 2018
Australia captain Smith was today handed a one-match suspension and fined 100 percent of his match fee after he owned up to a ball-tampering conspiracy in South Africa.
However, opener Bancroft was fined 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third day's play.
The incident that led to the charges being laid took place during South Africa's innings yesterday afternoon when Bancroft was seen on television holding a foreign object while rubbing the ball, before hiding the yellow object in his pocket, then inside his trousers.
(With PTI Inputs)