Suman was dismissed caught and bowled by Harbhajan, after which the bowler gave him an invective-ridden send-off.
IPL chief executive Sundar Raman said Match Referee Gundappa Viswanath found Harbhajan guilty of level 1 offence and fined him USD 15,000.
“Harbhajan fined USD 15K by the referee. Found guilty – level 1 offence,” Sundar Raman wrote on his twitter page.
Harbhajan was in his element in the match, smashing an 18-ball 49 to lift Mumbai to a good score, and then snaring three wickets to help them defend 172. His all-round performance was enough to win the Man of the Match award.
Harbhajan’s fine is the first disciplinary action taken on a player during this IPL. During the course of the tournament, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara have been slapped with fines for the failure of their sides to complete their overs on time. Kings XI Punjab emerged as a repeat offender, as a result of which their captain Sangakkara was handed a one-match ban.
“It was a heat-of-the-moment act. We needed a wicket at that stage and Harbhajan is always high on adrenaline. Let’s not make an issue of it,” said the IPL franchise’s director (cricket) TA Sekar here today. Sekar said his team respected the IPL and the fine would be paid but he was not clear whether the franchise would pick up the tab or the errant player for the breach.
Harbhajan’s latest discretion, however, pales in comparison to his violent outburst in the inaugural edition of the IPL when he had slapped Kings XI Punjab pacer S Sreesanth to incur fine and ban from the remainder of the Twenty20 league.
Harbhajan, on his part, explained after the match last night that he was pumped up after sending Suman back as the same batsman had sent him soaring for successive sixes in last season’s IPL tie held in South Africa.