|Team India suspend Australia
tour pending Bhajji's appeal
||SYDNEY, January 7: The
Indian cricket board (BCCI) has suspended its team's tour of Australia
pending the outcome of an appeal for banned spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Harbhajan was suspended
on Sunday by the International Cricket Council for three tests after being
found guilty of racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds
during the second test in Sydney. Harbhajan has denied the claims and the
BCCI said the tour would be suspended until his appeal had been heard.
"The Board will appeal
to the International Cricket Council to review the decision of the Match
Referee and suspend its operation till the appeal is disposed of," the
BCCI said in a statement released on Monday. "The Indian Board realises
the game of cricket is paramount but so too is the honour of the Indian
team and for that matter every Indian.
"To vindicate its position,
the Board will fight the blatantly false and unfair slur on an Indian player."
The Indian team were due to travel to Canberra on Monday to prepare for
their next tour match but returned to their hotel rooms after boarding
their bus. Australia lead the four-match series 2-0.
Umpire Steve Bucknor
rules Dravid out to a caught behind appeal by Adam Gilchrist when the bat
was nowhere near the ball
Umpire Mark Benson
seeks Ponting's opinion on whether Ganguly's catch carried to Clarke and
gave him out when the Aussie skipper lied to say yes
Ponting appealed to
a Dhoni catch knowing fully well that he had grounded the ball. Later,
tells media to buzz off for questioning his integrity
Symonds and all others
kept appealing wrongfully and aggressively to almost every ball but there
is no word on whether they would be booked for excessive appealing
Top BCCI officials is
meeting here on Monday to take stock of situation arising out of Harbhajan
Singh's three Test ban for his alleged racist comments against Australian
all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
The meeting was convened
by BCCI President Sharad Pawar at his residence.
BCCI has made it clear
that they would appeal against the ban and have directed the team management
to do the needful.
The off-spinner was banned
on Sunday for three Tests after the ICC Match Referee Mike Procter in a
marathon six-and-a-half hour hearing upheld the Australian charge that
he had racially abused all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
The appeal has to be lodged
with the ICC's legal counsel in writing within 24 hours and the team has
delayed its departure from Sydney to do the paperwork.
The appeal will be made
to the Commissioner of Appeals and pending the appeal, the off-spinner
can continue to play.
BCCI has also said it
would lodge an official complain against the umpiring in the second Test
after India were done in by by some poor umpiring decisions.
Playing with a team of
14 men -- including two on field umpires and the match referee -- Australians
may have won the series, but they have actually proven that they are loosing
their sportsmanship to Indians.
Instead of playing
on their own calibre this time the host team seems relying more on the
umpires who are busy in securing defeat of the guest side swearing allegiance
to white skin.
A 'blind' Steve Bucknor
and an equally erratic Mark Benson once again did their best to ensure
that the second cricket Test between India and Australia would be remembered
more for its long list of umpiring howlers than cricketing action.
If the opening day set
the tone with three dubious decisions, the final day saw India crashing
to a shock with 122-run defeat witnessed a number of horrendous decisions
that proven costly for the visitors.
The series of blunders
in this Test series pointing out the need of the hour to depend more on
technology than on the biased human beings -- umpires.
Both the umpires
knocked the life out of India's second innings resistance with two decisions
and the visitors could not recover from the setbacks.
After a top order
collapse, Sourav Ganguly (51) who is on his form became a victim of racial
discrimination for the second time in the series when the ball got stuck
in Michael Clarke's gloves after coming off the field, which prompted umpire
Benson to consult Ricky Ponting instead of his fellow Buckner.
Much to Ganguly's
dismay, Benson raised his finger, a decision that left former India captain
Sunil Gavaskar livid. Gavaskar lambasted Benson for not consulting Bucknor
or the third umpire and going by the words of the skipper of the opponent
Another pillar of the
visiting team, Rahul Dravid had padded an Andrew Symonds delivery that
brushed his knee-roll before landing on Adam Gilchrist's hands, which was
ruled by Bucknor a caught behind. Then Dravid was playing at 38.