Melbourne, Mar.10 : Match referees Mike Procter and Jeff Crowe are said to have warned the management of the Indian cricket team to rein in controversial off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for fear that he could incite open conflict.
The revelation comes as the International Cricket Council confirmed it was investigating Harbhajan's outburst last week, in which he claimed Matthew Hayden was "a liar" and Adam Gilchrist "no saint".
"We are aware of Harbhajan Singh's comments and are in dialogue with the two boards (Australia and India)," an ICC spokesman told The Australian last night.
Harbhajan could be charged with conduct unbecoming, which carries heavy penalties, including suspension.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India attempted to dismiss Harbhajan's comments about Hayden as frustration from a long and difficult tour, but Cricket Australia has demanded that action be taken following Cricket Australia's reprimand of Hayden for calling the slow bowler an "obnoxious little weed" late last month.
Even before Harbhajan was investigated by Crowe following reports that the spinner made monkey gestures and spat at spectators during last week's first final in Sydney, crowd controllers around the country complained about Harbhajan's behaviour.
A chief executive James Sutherland had an email exchange with BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, which has had an unsatisfactory conclusion.
"James's expectation is that the BCCI do something about this and James, in his last email, said enough was enough after the extended discussion we've had," Young said.
"We've been assured by the BCCI that they were going to counsel Harbhajan about his public comment.