Harbhajan Singh should be punished: KCA

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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 26 (UNI) Terming the slapping incident as ''unfortunate'', the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) today said Harbhajan Singh, who allegedly slapped S Sreesanth, should be punished.

Condemning the incident strongly, KCA Secretary T C Mathew said ''his act is an offence and is against the rules of cricket. This is a serious matter and such kind of misconduct should not come from any player.'' However, the KCA would not take any action directly or file any complaint demanding that punitive action be taken against Harbhajan before the BCCI immediately, as Sreesanth had not yet made any complaint before the association, he told UNI.

Mr Mathew said, he will discuss the matter with Sasantha Manohar, Chairman of the Tour and Programme Fixture, tomorrow.

Though Sreesanth belongs to this association, it could not act blindgly till it receive a complaint from him, he said, and added ''it is Sreesanth to take decision whether to lodge a complaint or not.'' On what could be prompted Harbhajan to take such a harsh step against Sreesanth, he said ''it may be the depression of his teams consecutive defeat in the Indian Premier League. As a captain the teams defeat could not tolerate him.'' Mr Mathew pointed out that Singh was punished in the past also for his misconduct and even he had been suspended from the team.

It was alleged that spinner Harbhajan Singh had slapped Shanthakumaran Sreesanth following Kings XI Punjab's 66 run victory over the Mumbai India, led by the former, in the IPL match yesterday.

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