ICC did a mistake in Harbhajan's case: Speed

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Adelaide, Jan 31 (UNI) Human and database errors led to an embarrassing mistake which allowed Harbhajan Singh to escape possible suspension, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief Malcolm Speed said today.

''It is very unfortunate that human error led to Justice Hansen not having the full history of Harbhajan's previous Code of Conduct breaches and the ICC accepts responsibility for this mistake,'' Speed said, after Hansen revealed that he was not aware of Harbhajan's previous infractions.

Harbhajan has been fined half his match fee by ICC appeals commissioner Justice John Hansen after his racial-abuse charges were overturned at a code of conduct appeals hearing here.

Hansen said he was not made aware of Harbhajan's three past indiscretions otherwise he could have imposed a more serious penalty on him.

Speed admitted that ICC did a mistake.

The ICC had informed Hansen's assistant counsel, John Jordan, of only one of Harbhajan's previous infractions, a Level 2.8 offence in April 2003 when he made an abusive comment against an umpire.

Speed warned players to behave themselves on the field and made it clear that Harbhajan verbally abused an opponent after being provoked.

''This is not acceptable behaviour on the cricket field. I expect all players to use this as a wake-up call that on-field behaviour must improve,'' he added.

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