Bhajji's repeated offences brought bad name to country: Modi

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New Delhi, May 25 (UNI) After the famous 'slapgate' incident, the IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi has come out harshly against off-spinner Harbhajan Singh describing him as a 'repeat offender' who has brought bad name to the country and made it clear that any such act of indiscipline will be dealt with very severely.

''Yes they are and that's why we took a very, very harsh step of doing what we did in terms of the penalties that we imposed on him, and the 11-match ban is also a very, very high match ban,'' Modi said while speaking to CNN's Talk Asia.

Earlier, the IPL disciplinary committee had banned Harbhajan for the remaining IPL tournament for slapping fellow Indian pacer S Sreesanth.

He was further banned for five ODIs for the same reason by the BCCI and Modi said the board has set a brave example that makes it very clear about how determined it is towards any such indisciplined act.

''And the Indian Cricket Board gave him further ban of five matches so they have reprimanded him very, very strongly,'' he added.

Modi also came in defence of the IPL which managed to see Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar in the Twenty20 tournament despite a five-year ban on him imposed by his national board.

''I mean that is something that the board has to decide and put it together. He had been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board and we had to unfortunately ban him also.

''I think the five-year punishment is something that the Pakistan board imposed not us. We punished one of our players, Harbhajan Singh, which is the famous 'slapgate' incident,'' he said.

Modi, who has attracted a lot of attention in the recent months after the IPL came in to picture, expressed his surprise over how the crowd have become so possessive about their teams and said he himself was surprised with the way Indian players were booed by the Indian public.

He, however, added though this could be expected but not in so early and that too in the first edition of the tournament.

''One of the key factors for success of the IPL was, in my view prior of launching the IPL, was if you could see an Indian icon player getting out by a foreign player - for me that will be the test, a litmus test to decide whether the IPL worked and we saw that, Rahul Dravid the ex-captain of India came to play in Mumbai, he was booed by the fans.

''I didn't think personally it would happen in the first season I thought it would take a few years for that to develop, but it happened instantly and that too, is the biggest surprise,'' he noted.


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