"Based on prima facie video evidence as seen and reviewed by the match adjudicator and referee Farokh Engineer from the tapes provided to him, a decision has been reached to suspend with immediate effect Harbhajan Singh of the Mumbai Indians pending the inquiry into the incident on Monday, April 28, 2008," IPL Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi said in a statement on Saturday.
"Harbhajan 's international career will depend on the match referee's decision. The minimum punishment is a 10-match ban (IPL matches), while the maximum punishment could be a life ban", Modi was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN.
On a day of dramatic developments, Sreesanth's Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab formally lodged a complaint against Harbhajan to compound his misery after the BCCI had also issued a show cause notice asking why action should not be taken against him for his conduct in Mohali last night.
Harbhajan, captaining the Mumbai Indians in the absence of an injured Sachin Tendulkar, has been asked to respond to the notice by Monday, when he will also appear before the hearing to be conducted by match referee Farokh Engineer.
''At this point of time, we have issued a show cause notice.
Harbhajan is a contracted player of BCCI. BCCI itself has a code of conduct for players and BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah has issued a show cause notice and he has to respond by Monday,'' BCCI CAO Prof Ratnakar Shetty said.
''The Board's disciplinary committee will look into the issue and decide according to the rules of the BCCI,'' Mr Shah said in a statement.
However, the Mumbai Indians have decided to retain Harbhajan as the captain of the side in case Tendulkar fails to recover from his groin injury.
The immediate provocation for Harbhajan's actions last night appear to be Sreesanth saying ''hard luck'', to the off spinner who was in a bad mood following the Mumbai team's third successive loss.