Former International Cricket Council match referee Mike Procter, who slapped a three-match ban on Harbhajan Singh for alleged racist comments against Andrew Symonds during the India vs Australia 2008 Sydney Test, still regrets the incident.
Harbhajan Singh (left), Sachin Tendulkar (right) and asst team manager
MV Sridhar appeal a three-match ban imposed on Harbhajan in an
Australian court in Adelaide in 2008. Pic/Getty Images
"I regret what happened. I wouldn't have handled it any different. A lot of things happened during that time.
"It happened to Australia when they were in India as well (during the Wankhede ODI). I did my job with full honesty," Procter told reporters during a media interaction in the Phinda Game Reserve, in KwaZulu Natal province yesterday.
Judge John Hansen dropped the charges against Harbhajan after the Board of Control for Cricket in India appealed against Procter's decision. The former South African pacer, who quit as match referee after the acrimonious tour, said: "I went to the Indian and Australian dressing rooms later. I had to get the balance right.
Everything else is out there for the people to read. I was honest to myself and did my job. It was quite hard after all that had happened. But I was also offered to become the chairman of selectors for South Africa, so that is why I quit as match referee," he added, ahead of today's cricket match here in the wild.
Six former India and South African cricketers are scheduled to play the match, an event organised by Beyond Boundaries. Kapil Dev will lead the Indian team comprising Dilip Vengsarkar, Roger Binny, Ajay Jadeja, Anshuman Gaekwad and Sandeep Patil. Procter will take charge of the host team that includes legendary Graeme Pollock, Peter Kirsten, Paul Adams, Lance Klusener and Andrew Hudson.