New Delhi/ Chandigarh, Jan 8 : As the multi-million dollar India tour of Australia is in jeopardy following the ban on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh and the dubious umpiring decisions in the Sydney Test, many cricket fans feel that the tour should be cut short and the players should be asked to return to India.
"What ever is happening is entirely wrong. Our authorities reacted to the issue so late when the ban has already been imposed. The BCCI should have been strict with its decision. They should have reacted earlier. They took action only when Sachin sent his reaction to the head and told them that Harbhajan is innocent. he players should come back to India immediately," said Ravi, a resident.
Some feel this is a pre-planned mind game that the Australians are 'best' at.
"These Australians are simply perfect at playing mind games. And this is exactly what they have done in this match also. They could see that Harbhajan is doing well and could create problems for them in the remaining matches. So, what they did was got him out of the tour itself. They have disturbed the entire match and our side also," said Amrit, a cricket player in Chandigrah.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called on Tuesday for cricketing authorities to settle the matter 'at the first available opportunity', while the country's foreign minister said bilateral ties would survive the crisis but called for calm.
When Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh called Australian Andrew Symonds, ofritish and West Indian origin, a "monkey" it was declared racism by cricketing officials and he was suspended for three matches.
Indians argue that 'monkey' is not racially insulting in their country. The monkey God 'Hanuman' in India is a hero -- a provider of courage, hope, knowledge, intellect and devotion.
Indian officials have appealed against the decision, arguing umpires took Symonds' word over Harbhajan's, but Australia claims Harbhajan has abused Symonds during previous matches.
Further angering India is a claim that an Australian player called the Indian team 'bastards'. In Australia, the word bastard is often used affectionately by laconic Australians, but in India it is seen as a great slur.
The crisis is also about the apparent 'gentleman ethos' of cricket and alleged unsportsman-like behaviour.
Many Australian fans, have joined Indian fans, in slamming their team after some players accepted the incorrect umpire decisions and refused to honourably concede they were out.
Australia's cricket team has a reputation for playing hard, and for sledging or abusing opponents on the field, which many commentators say has annoyed the cricket world for years.