Oz media has demeaned office of appeals commissioner: BCCI

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Mumbai, Jan 30 (UNI) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today came down heavily on the Australian media's attack on the 'reprieve' to Harbhajan Singh in the racial abuse case.

The BCCI termed the attack as ''demeaning and insulting'' to the office of the Appeals Commissioner, while insisting that it was a 'fair trial'.

BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah said that the Indian cricket board is very disappointed at what has appeared in the Australian media.

''India has a very good relation with Cricket Australia. It was a very fair trial and no money power was used as claimed.

There was no pressure on anyone,'' he said.

BCCI Chief Administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said, ''As far as BCCI is concerned we went according to the ruling of the ICC. The ICC had appointed Appeals Commissioner Justice John Hansen, who is a respected High Court judge in New Zealand. So to find fault and criticise his decision is demeaning and insulting the office of the Appeals Commissioner.'' The Australian media called it a ''Cricket's day of Shame'' and reported that Cricket Australia caved in to India's muscle flexing as it was anxious to save the tri-series.

Reports also claimed that the Australian players were ''frustrated'' and dismayed after Harbhajan got away with a fine.

''If India wanted to use its money power there would have been other ways to follow instead of following the procedure set up by the ICC,'' Mr Shetty said.

''The Judge's decision was based on the fact that there was no video or audio recording of the offensive words supposed to have been uttered by Harbhajan. Mike Procter's finding that Sachin Tendulkar could not have heard Harbhajan was also disapproved,'' he added.

UNI GS RN AG AB RN2052

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