New Delhi:The racism slur on Harbhajan Singh is not just a blot on the cricketer but the entire country and Indian cricketers should have been recalled from their tumultuous tour of Australia, said Railways Minister Lalu Prasad.
Talking to reporters at the Rail Bhawan today, the minister cited the example of Rana Pratap and said there could not be any compromise on self-respect.
"I would have recalled the players as this is a question of country's self-respect," he said.
Though Harbhajan is now free to play pending his appeal against the three-match ban, the minister felt the entire process came as a humiliation for both the spinner and the country.
"The matter has not been settled yet. Harbhajan was insulted. It was also an insult to the country," said the minister, who also heads the state cricket association in Bihar.
The BCCI initially contemplated a pullout before ICC yielded to their objection against controversial umpire Steve Bucknor who has been removed from officiating in the Perth.
BCCI later convened an emergency Working Committee meeting after which they announced the tour was on "for the present" and they would continuously review the series.