Ganguly returns home, refuses to talk to media

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Mumbai/Bhopal, Jan 31 : Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly, dropped for the triangular series in Australia, returned home on Wednesday and refused to speak to the large battery of media persons at Mumbai airport.

Despite a consistent knock Down Under in the test series, selectors surprisingly dropped Ganguly for next month's triangular series in Australia, which also includes Sri Lanka.

Ganguly later flew down to Kolkata.

35-year-old Ganguly has performed well after he was dropped from the one-day and test series in the wake of a public spat with then coach Greg Chappell two years ago that led to the batsman losing the captaincy.

Meanwhile, school students in Bhopal took out a rally in support of spinner Harbhajan Singh after he was absolved of racial charges.

"We are very happy that there has been justice in the Harbhajan Singh case and Steve Buckner was removed from the India-Australia test series. We want some strict action should be taken against Buckner as well. We are feeling very happy with the solidarity shown by the Indian team. Australian team has deceitfully won the test series. We want that India should win the one day series now," said Jayesh Kumar Singh, a student.

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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