Ganguly support for Harbhajan
Experienced batsman doubts racism claim
Last Updated: 11/01/08 10:37am
Ganguly: admires the Australian approach
India batsman Sourav Ganguly does not believe team-mate Harbhajan Singh racially abused Andrew Symonds during the second Test in Sydney.
"I really doubt he said what he is meant to have. Under pressure a lot of things come out and Australia also do it, but I think Harbhajan is just a competitor on the field."
Sourav Ganguly Quotes of the week
Harbhajan was banned for three games after being found guilty of directing a racist insult towards Symonds at a hearing chaired by match referee Mike Procter.
The BCCI reacted to that decision by briefly suspending the tour, before relenting and allowing it to continue pending the outcome of Harbhajan's appeal, for which no date has yet been set.
Ganguly, a former skipper and senior member of India's touring party, has offered his full backing to Harbhajan.
"I really doubt he said what he is meant to have," Ganguly told TV channel Star Cricket.
"Under pressure a lot of things come out and Australia also do it, but I think Harbhajan is just a competitor on the field.
"He bowled well with not much luck in Sydney and batted brilliantly. He will give 100 percent on the field every time."
While Ganguly feels personal abuse has no place on a cricket field, he accepts that Australia's 'desperate' approach is something to be admired.
"I don't think it has any role in cricket," he said. "Sometimes it does happen in the heat of the moment, everyone is playing for their place and their reputation is at stake.
"I don't think going at each other is the right way to play and sometimes things happen in the heat of the moment. Both sides could be under pressure to win the Test for their country, you react at times differently.
"What happened may not have looked nice from the outside, but I also quietly admired how desperate they (Australia) were to win. They were desperate and that's not a bad thing in sport.
"We had a tough Test match in terms of some decisions, if not the Test could have gone our way. But that's the way it goes.
"On the other hand, it shows why Australia win so many Test matches because when they see a chance to win they can do anything.
"Of course there has to be a limit somewhere. The last Test match has been a bit different, but it's OK otherwise."