It all started with the infamous Sydney Test, the second of the four-match Test series.
India had lost a tense match to Australia by 122 runs and the hosts equalled their own
record of 16 consecutive Test match victories. But it was a match marred by poor
umpiring and even poorer sportsmanship by the Australian cricketers, who claimed unfair
catches and waited for the umpire's decision despite edging thickly to the wicketkeeper.
India captain Anil Kumble accused Australia of unsportsmanlike conduct after the loss
and the team's manager called for the ''incompetent'' umpires to be replaced.
Steve Bucknor, a veteran of 120 Test matches, was at the centre of it all. The West Indian umpire gave Andrew Symonds not out when the player edged a catch behind. Symonds later admitted he had nicked the ball. Bucknor gave a number of other wrong decisions against the Indians, who wanted him removed from officiating further in the series. After BCCI's strong demand, the ICC ousted Bucknor after the Sydney Test for his consistent exhibition of poor umpiring in the Test.
But it was an apparently friendly gesture by Harbhajan that set off a series of allegations
and counter allegations. Brett Lee had bowled a yorker to Harbhajan, which the off-
spinner played to fine leg. He then patted Lee on the back while taking a single.
Symonds, ever the guy ready for a bit of banter, went up to Harbhajan and told him in
foul and abusive language that he had no friends among the Australians.
Now bringing you back...
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