Australian media may have been less complimentary of Sachin Tendulkar deserving Order of Australia award as announced by their Prime Minister Julia Gillard, noting his involvement in the racial abuse of Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds by Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh during the Sydney Test in 2008.
But according to Venkatesh Ramachandra Manohar (the father of former BCCI president Shashank Manohar), Sachin Tendulkar was not a liar. V.R. Manohar is a legal luminary and had represented the Indian cricket board at the ICC' s appeal hearing.
"Sachin Tendulkar was not lying", he exclusively said over telephone from Nagpur. "I repeatedly asked Sachin (Tendulkar) whether Harbhajan Singh had really said "moneky" to Andrew Symonds and I was satisfied with his answer that Bhajji didn't utter the racism remark", he added.
The ICC's appeal commissioner Judge John Hansen (New Zealand) was favourable on the conduct and testimony of Tendulkar, who Procter had implied was lying and could not have been within earshot of the altercation. According to Hansen, video replays from various camera angles showed that Tendulkar was the closest player to the conversation and was likely to have heard it.
"I was told (by Sachin) that the words "teri maa ki" were spoken by the Indian bowler (Harbhajan). Symonds was unable to confirm whether he had heard Harbhajan use a term in his native tongue "teri maa ki" which appears to be pronounced with an "n" and accepted that it was a possibility.
"It was a mere mis-communication by the players. Owing to the different accent in Western and Indian people this controversy was created. Harbhajan was punished for abusive words and not for the racist remarks", the advocate concluded.
Interestingly, the award for Sachin has been announced by the present PM, Julia Gillard, who is not known for her love for the game of cricket. The former cricket fanatic Prime Minister John Howard didn't honour Sachin in his 11 year tenure as country head. "Mr Howard has declined to comment at all (on this)", Ms. Ruth Gibson, the official at the Office of the Hon John Howard OM AC, said from Sydney.