Procter defends Harbhajan ban

Match referee Mike Procter has defended his decision to ban Harbhajan Singh for three Tests.

updated: January 10, 2008 14:12 IST
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New Delhi:

Match referee Mike Procter has defended his decision to ban Harbhajan Singh for three Tests, the South African told an Australian newspaper:

"I am South African, and I understand the word 'racism'. 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."

What next for Bhajji?

So what's next on the Bhajji ban issue? The BCCI is having a meeting later on Tuesday evening in Delhi, presumably to decide on its future course of action and whether the team should continue to Canberra for the practice game that is due to begin on Thursday.

However, the ball is now in the ICC court. The procedure required:
  • They have 48 hours to appoint one member from among its panel of 17 eminent people who are part of the code of conduct commission
  • The appeals commissioner cannot be from either India or Australia and he will have seven days in which he has to finish all his hearings and then deliver a judgement
  • The appeals commissioner can choose to increase, decrease, amend or even give an entirely new verdict, which means that even the Australian players could be charged if the charge against Harbhajan found to be incorrect
  • Harbhajan can play for India while the appeal is pending but once the decision is out then its final and binding.
Though given the amount of pressure the ICC is under right now, don't be surprised if we have a more fast track appeal.

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