Harbhajan to lose Rs 3 crore

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/harbhajansree1.jpg' class='caption'> The temperamental off spinner was fined 100 per cent of his match fees when he was handed out an 11 match ban for his unprovoked assault on Sreesanth

Updated: May 03, 2008 10:19 IST
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Harbhajan Singh would never even have imagined in his wildest dreams that the angry slap he planted on S Sreesanth's face would make him poorer by more than two and a half crore of rupees!

The temperamental off spinner was fined 100 per cent of his match fees when he was handed out an eleven-match ban for his unprovoked assault on India teammate Sreesanth after the Mohali game between Harbhajan's Mumbai Indians and the latter's King's XI of Punjab on April 25.

The Punjab-born Harbhajan had been purchased by the Mumbai franchise team owned by Reliance Industries for a whopping $8,50,000 (approximately Rs 3.4 crore).

"There are no separate match fees for IPL matches and the players are given only allowances. The match fee is calculated on a pro-rata basis of the amount he had been bought for by his franchise owner and the number of matches he's able to play", a top Cricket Board source informed.

As per this calculation the player, termed "Turbanator" by the Aussie press, stood to lose Rs 2.671 crore - or close to Rs 25 lakh per match - for the 11 ties he would miss following the verdict by IPL match referee and former Test stumper, Farokh Engineer.

It must rank among the costliest-ever slaps in world history, and certainly a record-setting one in cricket!

The lone consolation, if it can be called so, is that the man who handed out the punishment also hailed him as the best-ever off spinner India has produced.

One wonders what legendary predecessor Erapalli Prasanna, Engineer's one-time teammate and pal, would make of this statment, not to talk of another great who's among Harbhajan's staunchest critics - Bishen Singh Bedi.

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