Mumbai, Apr 28: Team India's off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been banned for 11 Indian Premier league matches by the IPL governing council.
Harbhajan Singh was found guilty of slapping S Sreesanth at the hearing on Monday and subsequently banned for the remainder of the Indian Premier League.
It is learnt that the ace Indian off-spinner pleaded guilty at the hearing conducted by match referee Farokh Engineer at New Delhi on Monday.
Harbhajan allegedly slapped Sreesanth immediately after the Indian Premier League match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians, which the former won.
After viewing the tapes by the host broadcaster, Engineer felt the incident was totally unprovoked.
Sreesanth, meanwhile, was let off with a warning.
Mumbai Indians coach Lalchand Rajput was also charged with level 2 misconduct and penalised 15 per cent of his match fees.
After the hearing, Engineer made both the players hug each other. Harbhajan later appealed to the people of the country to forgive him.
Bhajji-Sreesanth Row: Disciplinary Hearing Underway
NEW DELHI, Apr 28: In the IPL hearing against Team India's off-spinner Harbhajan Singh currently underway at the Maurya Sheraton hotel in Delhi, Harbhajan has pleaded guilty and regretted his actions for hurting Sreesanth's sentiments. Bhajji carried a letter in reply to BCCI's show cause notice in the hearing, according to reports by news channel Times Now .
The IPL disciplinary hearing is being conducted by match referee Farokh Engineer. The match referee will take a final call on whether to ban Bhajji for life.
According to reports, Bhajji could face another inquiry from BCCI for flouting rules. The BCCI has appointed advocate Sudhir Nanavati as Commissioner to make preliminary inquiry into Harbhajan's slapping incident. Advocate Nanavati will inquire into the case of Bhajji flouting BCCI guidelines. Nanavati will submit report to BCCI president Sharad Pawar within 15 days. If found guilty, Bhajji is likely to face 10-IPL matches ban. BCCI's disciplinary committee will look into Nanavati's report before giving the final verdict.
Harbhajan is accompanied by Mumbai Indians coach Lalchand Rajput. Sreesanth, who has also arrived for the hearing, is also likely to be questioned on his conduct during the hearing.
The temperamental cricketer slapped Indian team-mate S Sreesanth post the Indian Premier league (IPL) match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab on April 25.
Slapping a fellow player constitutes a Level 4 offence as per the ICC Code of Conduct and could lead to a maximum punishment of a life ban or a minimum of five Tests or 10 ODIs.