Harbhajan gets 3-Test ban for making racial slur against Symonds

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Sydney, Jan 6 (UNI) Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was banned for three Test matches today for making racial comments against Aussie all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the second Test at SCG.

International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Mike Proctor upheld the charge after a hearing in Sydney. Harbhajan had denied he racially abused Symonds. Harbhajan has been charged under rule 3.3 of the ICC's Code of Conduct.

Indian manager Chetan Chauhan confirmed that Harbhajan has been banned for three matches.

''Our points were ignored in the meeting. We think this ban is unfair,'' Chauhan said.

Apart from Harbhajan, skipper Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, manager Chetan Chauhan and media manager MV Sridhar were present during the hearing while the Australian contingent included Symonds, skipper Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and team manager Steve Bernard.

However, the ban will not come into effect immediately and Harbhajan can continue to play. The appeal will be made to the Commissioner of Appeals Ausralian skipper Ponting lodged a formal complaint with Proctor who scheduled the hearing yesterday after the end of the day's play.

However, the hearing was postponed till today on the request of the Indian team management. On Friday, the off-spinner had denied making any racist comment.

UNI XC TB DB2311

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