New Delhi:Two days and much fiery posturing on all sides later, what do we have? Steve Bucknor shall not be seen in this series again. The BCCI says it is a positive move and the Australia tour will go on. Bhajji will play in the Perth Test pending a decision on the Indian board's appeal against the three-match ban.
All's well that ends well, only it hasn't quite ended, has it? There is a racial slur against an Indian based entirely on hearsay. And as we are all agreed here, cricket is not bigger than national pride. Nothing short of absolving Harbhajan Singh unequivocally will douse the anger.
Netizens have not stopped writing in, joining NDTV.com in asking the Men in Blue to return home unless justice is done. Not many of them are satisfied with the temporary solutions conjured up by panic-stricken cricket bodies. Little handouts like "allowing" Bhajji to play the Perth Test are not enough. The ban, they say, has to go. No questions asked.
There are other arguments. If Steve Bucknor has officially been removed for making bad calls, decisions that won the Sydney Test for Australia, then should the result be valid? There is a clamour to annul the match. For years later, when the controversy has been buried in archives, bare statistics will show Australia won. Not what won it for them.
On Monday evening (IST) we responded to Netizens' demand and launched the India, Come Back campaign. After the events of the last 40 hours, we are now changing that to: Absolve Bhajji.
At last count we had received letters and comments in the tens of thousands from surfers the world over. As this is being written, the mailboxes are overflowing again. This is a formidable entity telling the team: It is not 11 men who play a cricket match. It is the entire Indian people.
Add your voice to the campaign.
Earlier Edit: India, Come Back !