Harbhajan summoned, charged with level III offence

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Sydney, Jan 4 (UNI) Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was today charged with a Level III offence under the ICC Code of Conduct following his on-field altercation with Andrew Symonds during the third day of the second Test here.

The two players came face to face while Harbhajan was batting.

Under the code, Harbhajan has been summoned to a hearing with match referee Mike Procter for ''using language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethic origin''.

The charge was made by umpires Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor after the close of play following a complaint they received from Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

If found guilty Harbhajan could face a ban of two to four Tests or four to eight one-dayers. The hearing is scheduled after tomorrow's play.

Television replays showed Harbhajan beckoning Symonds and the two of them having an extended conversation before Matthew Hayden and Sachin Tendulkar, who was batting at the other end, intervened. The two umpires then spoke to Harbhajan.

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