Harbhajan gets ICC thumbs-up

The Indian bowler denies having racially taunted a section of the crowd during the Sydney one-dayer.

updated: March 03, 2008 13:06 IST
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Harbhajan Singh, at the centre of a fresh controversy for allegedly making monkey gestures at the SCG crowd, on Monday vehemently denied any wrongdoing and said no evidence could be produced to prove him guilty.

Harbhajan's name was splashed across all major newspapers of Australia, accusing him of flimsy charges to have "aped" a monkey in front of a provocative crowd while he was fielding at the square leg fence after completing his quota of overs.

Later, host broadcaster Channel 9 said it has not been able to provide any evidence in support of the claims.

ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe ruled out taking any action against the Indian off spinner.

"I have investigated the alleged incident with Cricket Australia's ground security officials after reading newspaper reports and viewing related photographs that have been published," Crowe said in a statement issued by the ICC.

"After reviewing all available information, I conclude that there is no need to take any action against Harbhajan Singh."

When the Indian spinner was informed that the official broadcaster might not have any incriminating evidence to offer to the match referee to nail him down, he was not surprised.

"Obviously, they wouldn't have anything because I didn't do anything," said Harbhajan on arriving in Brisbane, looking to build on Sunday's fabulous performance with a series-sealing triumph at Gabba.

Harbhajan was the toast of the Indian team, and the nation, with his match-winning 2 for 38 from 10 overs, which stalled the World Champions' progress and gave India a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three finals.