Harbhajan's family celebrates victory of truth

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Jalandhar, Jan 30 : Unbridled happiness erupted into spontaneous song and dance in typical Punjabi style as friends and relatives of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh visited his home and celebrated what they hailed as a victory of truth.

"We are extremely happy with the outcome. We are slightly disappointed that he has been fined. Even though he is innocent. However, this was God's will and we accept it that way," said Vikram Sidhu, Harbhajan's cousin.

Harbhajan's family anxiously waited for the inquiry and following the positive outcome, their elation knew no bounds.

"For the last many days, we were waiting for the hearing to happen. We are overjoyed, as he has been declared blameless. Therefore, we are celebrating the moment," said Sandeep Kaur, Harbhajan's niece.

New Zealand Judge John Hansen on Tuesday cleared Harbhajan of a racism charge and lifted the three-match ban against him. He was instead charged 50 per cent of his match fee for offensive behaviour. His offence was revised from Level Three to Level Two under the ICC Code of Conduct rules for players.

It maybe recalled that a three Test match ban was imposed on Harbhajan by match referee Mike Procter at the end of the controversy-ridden second Test between India and Australia played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney.

Harbhajan was accused of calling Australian allrounder Andrew Symonds a "big monkey" during the Sydney Test.

Indian players had reacted strongly to the charges against the off-spinner. Senior player Sachin Tendulkar maintained that Harbhajan had not said anything racist to Symonds during the confrontation in Sydney.

ANI

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