BCCI, CA tried resolving ‘monkeygate’ behind the scenes

Zeecric Bureau

Melbourne: Malcom Speed, the former ICC Chief Executive has made some startling revelations on the Sydney Test racial row appeal in his book ‘Sticky Wicket’. The issue which made headlines as the ‘monkeygate ’ incident, involving Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh and Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds. In his book speed states that the New Zealand judge , Justice John Hansen, who heard the Sydney Test racial row appeal had accused Indian and Australian cricket boards of colluding behind the scenes in a way that was “disastrous for cricket”.

In his book Malcom Speed reproduces a letter by Justice John Hansen addressed to speed were he raises concerns about the two boards (BCCI and CA) discussing behind the scenes to resolve matters. Justice Hansen wrote in a letter to Speed: ``Although both boards would deny it, BCCI and CA were having discussions behind the scenes to resolve matters. Indeed, they presented me with an agreed statement of facts and a consent order that they expected me to rubber-stamp. In my view the consequences of such a course of action would have been disastrous for cricket. In any event, their actions undermined the independence of the Code of Conduct Commissioner, were unbecoming, and in my view, contrary to the spirit of cricket."

India had threatened to pull out of the tour owing to this matter, which would have caused a financial losses for CA. The letter also states that the agreed statement of facts which was signed by Harbhajan Singh, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds , Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden and Sachin Tendulkar made no mention of the alleged racial taunt, ``big monkey``.

Speed further elaborates in his book on how BCCI uses its muscle power to have its own way and also points out the lengths to which Cricket Australia went to preserve its relationships with BCCI.

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