Symonds broke pact with Harbhajan: Chetan Chauhan

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Andrew Symonds who started the racism row in Sydney by provoking Harbhajan Singh during the ill-tempered second Test, Chetan Chauhan said on Thursday.

Updated: January 14, 2008 18:17 IST
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It was Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds who started the racism row in Sydney by provoking Harbhajan Singh during the ill-tempered second Test, Indian team manager Chetan Chauhan said on Thursday.

The former Test opener revealed that Symonds broke an agreement between the two players, which was reached in Mumbai during last year's one-day series, and said it was the Australian who was responsible for the controversy.

"They had a pact in Mumbai after incidents during that series and the person who started the row was the one who broke the pact by reporting the incident," Chauhan said.

The Indian team manager suggested that Symonds was not totally innocent in the whole controversy.

"He has admitted that he had said something to provoke Harbhajan. So there was a cause and an effect," he said.

"We tried our best to scale down the controversy but were told that the Australian players were adamant to press charges.

The Indians have lodged an appeal against the three-Test ban slapped on Harbhajan by ICC Match Referee Mike Procter and Chauhan was reluctant to say more on the matter which was now sub-judice.

One of the major sticking points from the Sydney Test were the contentious low catches and Chauhan said the issue was not part of the official memorandum of understanding between the teams.

"It was not part of the MoU between the sides but as both captains agreed, I went along with it even though I had some reservations. But we assured that we will play according to the traditions and conventions of the game," Chauhan said.

But incidents during the match have convinced the Indian team management to think again about trusting the fielders in
the matter.

"Some catches and appeals in Sydney were unreasonable. We will think about it and have a re-look at the agreement," he said.

The umpiring blunders which played a major role in India's 122-run defeat had resulted in frustration and anger within the team.

"We were trying to make a comeback after the loss in Melbourne resulted in a criticism of our play and attitude.

But we got the rough end of most decisions, otherwise the result would have been different," Chauhan said.

Umpire Steve Bucknor has since been replaced for the Perth Test, but the Indian team manager said the visitors were not singling out any one official.

"Umpires can have a bad day but there's a limit," he added.

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