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Since 1st March, 1999
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Harbhajan is exposed, says Ricky

Melbourne: Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Saturday hit out at Harbhajan Singh, saying that the Indian off-spinner has been unmasked by his attack on Sreesanth.

Ponting said people can now make their judgement on Harbhajan after the slapping row since it involved his own teammate.

“The (slapping) incident was him dealing with a guy that he has probably played 20 Tests with,” said Australia captain Ponting, who had a brief stint with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) during which the slap-gate took place.

“After this latest issue in India, I think people should be making their own judgements about Harbhajan. He has again done something wrong,” Ponting told a local newspaper.

The Sydney fiasco involving Harbhajan and Andrew Symonds is more than three months old but Ponting remained incredulous at how Harbhajan got off with a slap on the wrist after being charged with racially abusing Symonds.

Harbhajan was initially suspended for three Tests but after an appeal received a 50 per cent match-fee fine on a lesser charge.

“It certainly wasn’t the outcome that we expected. He ended up being fined 50 per cent of his match fee. As it is, I will cop a 20 or 30 per cent match-fee fine most one-day games because I am behind in the over rates,” Ponting said.

The Australia captain admitted his team had several lapses of judgement in that ill-tempered series against India but claimed they were blown out of proportion.

“Most of us would put our hands up and say we made a few minor errors last year,” Ponting conceded.

“I think the thing that happened was that every time there was a minor error it was turned into something that was a lot bigger than it was.”

As for the IPL, Ponting said it would benefit the game if it was not held annually and if it is included in the international calendar.

“If there is some sort of a window carved out for an opportunity for international players to play (in the IPL) most years — and it doesn’t have to be every year because that will never work out for everybody — I really do think they can manage it well,” Ponting said.

“It won’t be detrimental to world cricket if it is handled the right way. What it has done already is to attract new audiences. With more crowds, you are going to get more participation.

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