Ponting should have solved matter on field: Latif

Published: Sunday, January 6, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Sydney: Hours before Harbhajan Singh is scheduled for a hearing for his alleged racist comments, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes that the issue should have been resolved on the field.

Latif criticized Ricky Ponting's decision to take the matter to the match referee and said, ''They should have left it on the field, those sorts of things just shows how aggressive the players are. It causes too many problems in cricket (referrals to the match referee).''

He said that the Indian spinner has some attitude problems and is short temepered too. He added that the issue has been blown out of proportion by the Australians as Harbhajan should have been let off with a warning by the on-field umpires.

''He has a short temper, he needs to control his emotions. He is a good guy, but he has some kind of problem with his temper.

''I think (Harbhajan) should have been given a warning on the field and if he does say something again, then give him a ban for two or three matches,'' Latif said.

He reminded of another incident that happened in 2003 World Cup between Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf and Harbhajan Singh. ''In the 2003 World Cup Harbhajan had a run-in with Mohammad Yousuf at Centurion (Stadium). He wanted to fight after Yousuf made a comment, it was just a joke but he took it seriously.'' However, that exchange of words was not racial, Latif added.

Latif was the last player to have been accused of rcial abuse by the Australians who was playing as wicketkeeper while Gilchrist was batting when the incident occurred in Johannesburg.

Gilchrist went to the umpire to complain that Latif had passed some racial comments to him. Latif disputed that claim, arguing that he had been muttering to himself.

Latif was cleared of charges against him and a furious Latif declared he would sue his rival but later, decided against it.

''I was upset but then I took some time to cool down and think it wouldn't have been good for cricket.'' He also adviced Harbhajan not to pursue any leagal if found not guilty.

''I think these kinds of things, Harbhajan can leave on the ground.'' ''All of these things should stay on the field, it is better for the game. He should not make any rash decisions, he should calm down and think,'' he adviced.

Meanwhile, Latif assured the Australian team that they will be safe in Pakistan for their upcoming tour amid the terrorism concerns surrounding the nation's general election next month.

''I can give a personal guarantee the Australians will be safe. They should tour here.''


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