NEW DELHI:BCCI President Sharad Pawar, it seems, holds all the aces in the Harbhajan Singh case. He can unilaterally announce a pullout from Australia following an unfavourable verdict to Bhajji's appeal. But he's pushing for the best lawyers, to ensure things don't even get that far.
Meanwhile Anil Kumble has put a different 'spin' to his war of words with Ricky Ponting, saying the Aussie skipper never listened when he proposed a solution.
The ICC might have said that it will not bow down to the financially and politically influential BCCI, but BCCI President Sharad Pawar is clearly not intimidated.
He has reiterated that by saying that the Indian Board is going to give it's everything to make sure that Harbhajan is let off. Cricket Australia meanwhile is backing Ponting and his men all the way. The relation between Indian and Australian cricket is definitely at an all-time low, with the risk of them being scarred forever
Sharad Pawar has reignited talk of calling the tour off if the racism row does not end in India's favour, at a press conference in Kolkata he once again reiterated the BCCI is doing all they can to clear Harbhajan's name.
And adding further fuel to fire is captain Anil Kumble who in an explosive newspaper article has attacked Ricky Ponting for being unreasonable.
The BCCI has from Day 1 thrown their whole weight behind Harbhajan, who must be breathing a lot easier after the ICC allowed him to play in the Perth Test, pending the verdict of his appeal hearing. But one man who is still simmering with rage is the Indian skipper.
Kumble on Racism Row
Anil Kumble said that Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was not willing to listen nor see my point. I offered to apologise as Bhajji's skipper unfortunately these days, when someone apologises, it is seen as either a sign of weakness or an admission of guilt. I am neither unnerved nor are we guilty.
While Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said that whether Harbhajan used the 'M' word or not is now upto ICC appeals commissioner John Hansen to decide, but that's not the only issue at hand, Kumble's scathing attack against Ponting also claims he cannot be trusted and so Kumble is thinking of pulling out of the agreement over consulting captains on catches being taken cleanly whatever the out-come of that hearing, it looks like Indo-Australian cricket relations might be scarred forever.
At this point, a few days before the big Test at Perth, I can tell you that 'that' behaviour will plays big role in my decision in the continuation of the agreement that Ricky and I had made before the series began
That agreement that Kumble is talking about is about asking concerned fielders about contentious decisions like Ganguly being given out in Sydney Test, when Michael Clarke had clearly grassed the ball. Ganguly himself feels, despite an agreement between the two captains, it's the umpires who are really to blame.