Sydney, Jan 7: The Indian cricket team has delayed its departure to Canberra in order to file an appeal against the ban on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh for three Test matches.
Team India Media manager MV Sridhar said that there is a lot of paperwork required to file a proper appeal. We would leave for Canberra as soon as we are through with the process of appeal," he said.Team India was scheduled to leave at 10.30 a. m. today for Canberra where they are to play a three-day game against Australian Cricketers' Territory (ACT) Invitational XI beginning on Thursday.
Meanwhile, BCCI top office bearers held a meeting to take stock of the situation. After the meeting, the BCCI said it will fight the "false slur" cast on its ace spinner and would request the ICC to suspend the order of Test ban against Harbhajan till the disposal of the appeal.
BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla said President Sharad Pawar had convened the meeting which discussed all the developments which led to India's defeat in the second Test against Australia and also the issue of Harbhajan Singh.
In a statement, BCCI president Sharad Pawar said: "The BCCI is committed to protect the country's fair name."
Earlier, on Sunday the ICC banned Harbhajan Singh for three Test matches for alleged racial remarks during the second Test between India and Australia.
The decision was taken after the ICC held a hearing on the racism row involving Harbhajan and the Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
The ICC Match Referee Mike Procter in a marathon six-and-a-half hour hearing upheld the Australian charge that he had racially abused Symonds.
Harbhajan has denied the charge. Indians have also filed a complaint against Australian spinner Brad Hogg for using abusive language during the second Test.They lodged the complaint against Hogg during the hearing.
Meanwhile Indian cricketers spent two hours sitting on the team bus outside their city hotel while captain Anil Kumble and team officials held discussions inside.