Justice (retd) Sudhir Nanavati, who headed the 'slapgate' inquiry, on Friday contradicted Indian cricketer S Sreesanth's claim that he was elbowed by his Indian cricket teammate Harbhajan Singh in the 2008 IPL incident, saying the pacer was indeed slapped by his then India teammate.
Nanavati, who was appointed by the BCCI to probe the 'slapgate' incident, said there was no provocation from Sreesanth's part and Harbhajan tried to slap him for the second time but was restrained by security guards.
"In the video footage, I have seen Harbhajan use the backside of his right palm to give him (Sreesanth) a slap on the right side of his face. It was clear cut, it was there to be seen in the video footage," said Nanavati.
"He (Harbhajan) had admitted it before me, yes slap was given. My first reaction after seeing the video footage in the BCCI office was that I was shocked and surprised. What I have seen in the frame of the video was that Harbhajan after giving him a slap was coming back once again to hit him but at that time, two security personnel had stopped him," Nanavati told 'Times Now'.
Five years after the infamous 'slapgate', Sreesanth made a series of revelations on the 2008 incident on his twitter page today, creating a fresh controversy in the IPL.
He claimed that he was not all at fault in the incident and the real video, which has never been released till now, would show his version. He also accused Harbhajan of being a "backstabbing person" while claiming that the off-spinner did not slap him but elbowed him.
Sreesanth, who is currently playing for Rajasthan Royals, demanded that the videotape of the incident be made public.
Nanavati said there was no provocation by Sreesanth during the course of the match played between the Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
"The part of my investigation involved was there any kind of provocation by Sreesanth which later provoked Harbhajan to react on it. My entire investigation report suggested that nothing like that had happened. What I am saying today is written in the report of which of copy is with me and one with the BCCI," he said.