Sydney: The Board of Controld for Cricket in India's ( BCCI) "backroom bullying" to get Harbhajan Singh cleared of a racism charge levelled against him in the controversy-ridden Sydney cricket Test, needs to be probed thouroughly, International Players' Association (FICA) Chief Executive Tim May has said.
Joining a host of critics on the issue of downgrading Harbhajan's offence from a Level three to a Level Two, May said:"Allegations of intimidation, interference and some good old backroom bullying have unfortunately been all too prevalent in this issue and other issues. The priorities of each board have been misdirected at best -- one hell bent on protecting its image and the other hell bent on protecting its revenues."
"I am confident that the ICC will launch a thorough investigation into the alleged actions of both boards and key officials -- there are serious allegations of intimidation and interference of those involved in this hearing and such allegations must be dealt with swiftly and decisively," he emphasised in an interview to a sport's website.
May felt Cricket Australia (CA) and the BCCI failed Andrew Symonds, who accused Harbhajan of racially abusing him, by not acting properly on his complaint.
"... A player held an honest and reasonable belief that he had been racially abused. It does not matter if he may have been mistaken, the fact is, he held an honest and reasonable belief that he had been racially abused. For this, he has been portrayed as a villain," he said.
"Racism is a sensitive and very serious issue within our respective communities. The boards have failed in their responsibility to uphold their respect for this issue. They have failed the players, they have failed both the ICC's Code of Conduct and the ICC's Anti Racism Code, and they have failed the communities where racism is a real, live issue," he said.