May 08, 2008 at 12:55am IST

BCCI not happy with Nanavati too

New Delhi: If one thought that the Harbhajan Singh- S Sreesanth slapgate was an open and shut case, think again.

The controversy is spreading its tentacles far and wide.

While Harbhajan may face a ban, there could be more trouble for his coach Lalchand Rajput, and even Appeals Commissioner Sudhir Nanavati, who has been appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to look into the issue.

FOOT IN MOUTH: After reviewing the footage, Nanavati said he was 'shocked' by what he saw.

Speculation is rife now that while Harbhajan is certain to face a ban from international cricket; he may not be the only one under the scanner.

Also in trouble is Lalchand Rajput who till recently was assistant coach of the Indian team and is now coach of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Apparently; in the footage that BCCI Appeals Commissioner Sudhir Nanavati described as "shocking", Rajput is seen laughing after the incident.

He made no attempt to stop Harbhajan or chastise him after the incident. Rajput has already been fined 50 per cent of his match fee by the IPL but the BCCI wants him too to be handed more punishment.

That's not all, as Nanavati has also angered BCCI bosses.

"The picture is so clear in my mind. It does not require any further investigation. It has become such a good piece of evidence. The punishment could be reduced but gravity of offence remains the same," Nanavati had said after reviewing the footage.

The comments by Nanavati in his position as BCCI Appeals Commissioner have stirred the pot in the BCCI.

A senior BCCI official told CNN-IBN: "Nanavati should not have spoken to media in relation to the Harbhajan case. These kinds of statements can create bias against one party. The inquiry is still in process, No one is allowed to speak on this issue."

There is also a speculation that Harbhajan has written a letter to the BCCI asking for leniency. While that cannot be confirmed, there is some talk that the punishment may not be as harsh as expected earlier.

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