Seeds of Sydney fracas sown in India: Hansen

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Adelaide, Jan 30 (UNI) ICC Appeals Commissioner Justice John Hansen in his decision over Harbhajan's racial abuse charges said while reviewing the evidences he found that the seeds of the ill-feeling between Andrew Symonds and the off-spinner were sown during the ODI series in India last year.

''When reviewing the evidence it is apparent that following incidents in India there was a little of ill feeling between Mr Singh and Mr Symonds,'' Hansen said in the decision copy issued by ICC.

He said in his decision copy that in India, Symonds thought that he had been called a 'monkey'. Subsequently, both the players agreed to a pact according to which neither of the two players would have an on-field conversations with any derogatory remark.

''Mr Symonds felt he had been called a 'monkey' which was a racial insult by Mr Singh. Mr Singh for his part said that he never called him such thing.

''Whatever was actually said it is apparent that they shook hands and there was an agreement. Mr Symonds maintained this was an agreement by Mr Singh not to use this word again. Mr Singh said it was a two way agreement whereby neither of them would speak to each other on the field in such a way,'' he said.

Hansen in his decision, further added that India's batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar's words were given good amount of consideration as he was the one who was closest to both the players when the incident took place.

''Mr Symonds accepted that Mr Tendulkar of all the participants was closest to Mr Singh.

''A viewing of the video shows that people were moving around but certainly Mr Tendulkar appears to have been closest to Mr Singh in the course of the heated exchange we are concerned with.

However, his decision copy said Tendulkar denied hearing Harbhajan saying 'monkey' to Symonds but he did hear the Indian offie saying something to the Australian all-rounder in Hindi.

''Contrary to reports that Mr Tendulkar heard nothing he told me he heard a heated exchange and wished to calm Mr Singh down.

''His evidence was that there was swearing between the two.

It was initiated by Mr Symonds. That he did not hear the word ''monkey'' or ''big monkey'' but he did say he heard Mr Singh use a term in his native tongue.

''He said this is a term that sounds like 'monkey' and could be misinterpreted for it,'' the statement copy said.

UNI XC RAR AB RN1818

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