Procter defends Harbhajan ban

Mike Procter labelled the past day "one of the most difficult of my life" and vowed to continue officiating the remaining two Tests of the summer.

updated: January 08, 2008 15:36 IST
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Mike Procter, the International Cricket Council, defended his decision to ban Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh for three Tests for the alleged racial abuse of Andrew Symonds during the Sydney Test, denying India's assertion that the assertion amounted to a "blatantly false and unfair slur on an Indian player".

"I am South African, and I understand the word 'racism'," Procter told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I have lived with it for much of my life. This was not a case of just taking the word of an Australian over an Indian. I stand by my decision. I believe the process was a fair one. I intend to carry on for the rest of the series, because I don't have a problem with India. I have always had a good rapport with Indian players.

Meanwhile, the Indians appear to have been unsuccessful in their attempt to have veteran umpire Steve Bucknor stood down for the remainder of the series. An ICC spokesman said last night that no plans had been made to remove Bucknor from the Perth Test.