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Team India outraged, refuses to leave Sydney


Jan 07, 2008 at 10:14am IST

New Delhi: The Indian team has refused to travel to Canberra for match practice after spinner Harbhajan Singh was banned for three Tests on Sunday for racial abuse, sources tell CNN-IBN.

The Indian team wants the Indian cricket board to resolve the issue and has told the management it won’t budge from Sydney till it does that.

Harbhajan has been banned for racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the second test in Sydney.

PUT OF THE GAME: Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh allegedly made a racist remark against Aussie player.

The hearing took place after the test ended on Sunday in which the hosts fought back to win by 122 runs and take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series. Harbhajan and Symonds, the only black player in the Australian team, had exchanged words shortly after the Indian reached his half century on Friday.

Play had been delayed for several minutes while the umpires spoke to Harbhajan on the pitch, although match referee Mike Procter had said the umpires were not close enough to hear the exchange.

The ban starts with immediate effect but Harbhajan, who denies he racially abused Symonds, could be available for the third test in Perth from January 16 as the Indians plan to lodge an appeal.

The charge against the Indian spinner was laid by match umpires Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor following a complaint by Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Friday, prior to which Harbhajan was alleged to have made a "monkey" comment directed at Symonds, the statement said.

"I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Harbhajan Singh directed that word (monkey) at Andrew Symonds and also that he meant it to offend on the basis of Symonds's race or ethnic origin," match Procter said in a statement released by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

(With inputs from Reuters)

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