Tendulkar to accompany Harbhajan for the hearing

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Sydney, Jan 5 (UNI): Batting great Sachin Tendulkar is likely to testify in favour of the off-spinner Harbhajan Singh during the hearing of alleged racial abuse against Andrew Symonds scheduled for tommorrow before ICC Match Referee Mike Proctor.

Along with Tendulkar, who was in the middle during the altercation between the two players, India captain Anil Kumble, media manager M V Sridhar and Chetan Chauhan will also accompany Harbhajan at the hearing.

Meanwhile, the Australians, are likely to be represented by skipper Ricky Ponting accompanied by Andrew Symonds and Brett Lee among others.

Harbhajan Singh was charged yesterday under Level 3.3 of the ICC's Code of Conduct following the alleged incident that took place during the second Test between India and Australia at the SCG.

Harbhajan and Symonds exchanged words shortly after the offie reached his half century. Play was delayed for several minutes while the umpires spoke to Harbhajan on the pitch.

Apparently, the two umpires, Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor have confirmed that they reported the matter on the insistence of Ponting and that they themselves did not hear anything provocative.

However, it remains to be seen whether anything offensive was recorded by the stump microphone, which will now become an instrument in bringing out the truth.

As things stood this evening, Harbhajan Singh was unlikely to face any action on the charge of ''racist remarks.'' UNI XC RKM RAR PM2017

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