Former skipper Michael Clarke, on Tuesday, lauded BCCI and Cricket Australia for their handling of the recent DRS controversy but felt the infamous 'Monkeygate' episode of 2007-08 series dragged on far too long.
BCCI and CA reached truce last Thursday with the former withdrawing the complaint it filed with the ICC against Australia skipper Smith for seeking dressing room advice on DRS in the second Test against India.
Speaking about the 'Monkeygate' episode involving Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh vis-a-vis the latest dispute, Clarke said, "I would be very honest about where I saw the situation at SCG at that time. I was very close to Andrew Symonds. I asked him whether he was racially vilified. It was not only about the racial vilification of Andrew. It should have ended right there, continuing with the spirit of the game.
"Look at the Steve Smith incident, it's the right way. They have handled it really well. We know we are in for great Test series. We focus on the next match. (It) does not matter how hard you are on the field or who you play against, you should hold highest respect for each other."
Charged with racial abuse, Harbhajan was initially handed a three-match ban which was later reduced, even as both the boards got locked in a fierce courtroom battle in the aftermath of India's 122-run defeat in the Sydney Test.
"Whatever happened is in previous Test and it's gone. They come out in Ranchi, that was very smart. They might have sat somewhere in CCI and taken a decision to not take it any further," Clarke said at the India book launch of his autobiography 'My Story'.
The launch took place at cricket historian Boria Majumdar's sports museum 'Fanattic'.
"It's fantastic to watch the series as a commentator, as a lover of the game. It will be no different in Ranchi and Dharamsala. We wanted to be competitive. The decision was the right one for the game of cricket."
Smith left India miffed when he looked towards the dressing room for advice on whether to review a lbw dismissal in the Bangalore Test.
India captain Kohli made his displeasure known at the post-match press conference, just stopping short of calling his counterpart cheat.
Clarke said he too has made mistakes in his career but would never cheat. "In the same series (2007-8), when I was batting I edged a Kumble wrong'un at the slip. But I didn't walk blatantly. I should have walked. That was one of the mistakes I made," he revealed, adding it was out of pure love for the country.
"I loved to represent my country so much. I really wanted to perform. I didn't want to go and was so disappointed. I've made plenty of mistakes in my career.
"But I always believe I played the game with right spirit, with utmost importance to represent my country, my franchise. I would never try and cheat. I don't think it's fair to look back on one, two three individual incidents in my career but I have played the sport with utmost dignity and held respect for my country.