'Bolly-line' battle the hot topic

By KUE DAVIS

THE controversy surrounding Harbhajan Singh and the Second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground last week has been the hot issue on everyone's lips.

Locally, it seems officials and players alike agree on one thing: what happens on the field should stay on the field.

Manjit Sidhu, president of the Northern Districts Cricket Club, and a devoted cricket player for more than 25 years, said the whole incident has been blown out of proportion.

"I didn't like the decisions handed down by the umpire," Mr Sidhu said.

"But I think the whole thing has gone too far. These things happen on the field, it's a part of the game. Every sport you play there is disagreements on field, you just ignore it and move on.

"I played cricket in the Coffs region from 1972 to 1999, and played in plenty of first grade and university matches back home. I've been told to go back to India you just ignore it."

Northern Districts captain and Coffs Harbour's most decorated cricket player, Craig Haworth, had much the same view.

"Ponting should have dealt with the issue on field, and that should have been the end of it.

"Everyone's had run-ins on the field - I've been blasted dozens of times, you just get on with it. Usually what happens in the heat of battle is forgotten afterward and you usually go and have a beer.

"What happens on the field stays on the field, and that's the way it should be."



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