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IPL sends out strong message

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi said they have sent a "strong message" by banning Harbhajan Singh for 11-13 matches and penalising him for close to USD 600,000 for slapping Sreesanth after a match last week.

"What has happened is Harbhajan did cross the 'Lakshman Rekha', he should not have done it... Harbhajan should not have crossed the line now that he did, we took immediate action," Modi said.

"This is a strong message that we have sent out, we have banned him for close to 13 matches, 11 or 13 depending on how the Mumbai team performs. We have also fined him 100 per cent of his pay cheque and that is close to USD 600,000 dollars (approax Rs 2.6 crore)," he told NDTV.

"It is not just any other tournament, it is a very serious tournament," he insisted.

Asked if the slap incident had affected the tournament, Modi said it did not reduce the ephoria generated and in fact positives could be drawn from it.

"I think it (euphoria) is more than enough... But there is a positive side to the incident because the players have taken this game as their own and they are actually fighting out for it as if they would have fought for team India, that's the positive side of it," he said.

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