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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 17:20 GMT
Harbhajan free to play in Tests
Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan has been defended by his team-mates
Harbhajan Singh's appeal against a three-match ban for making a racist comment to Australia's Andrew Symonds will take place on 29 and 30 January.

The International Cricket Council's decision means the India spinner is free to play in the last two Tests.

"We would have preferred the appeal to be earlier but it was not possible.

"It is likely to go into a second day as lawyers will be involved so we needed two clear days," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed explained.

"With just three full days between the third and fourth Tests, we were conscious of the teams' travel arrangements and preparations for the match."

New Zealand judge John Hansen will hear Harbhajan's appeal in Adelaide.

If the charge is upheld, the off-spinner is likely to miss the first two home Tests against South Africa in March, although those fixtures have not been confirmed.

The 27-year-old was found guilty by match referee Mike Procter of calling Symonds a "monkey" during the second Test in Sydney.

On-field umpires Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor levelled a charge under section 3.3 of the ICC code of conduct after receiving a complaint from Australia captain Ricky Ponting on day three.

At the time of the incident, Harbhajan was batting alongside Sachin Tendulkar, who backed his team-mate's claim that he had not said the word.

In the aftermath of Procter's decision, India suspended the tour and later insisted they might abandon it if Harbhajan's appeal failed.

They also accused Australia spinner Brad Hogg of making an offensive remark to India skipper Anil Kumble and his deputy Mahendra Dhoni.

They have since withdrawn their threat to quit the tour and the charge against Hogg.

SEE ALSO
India withdraw Hogg abuse charge
14 Jan 08 |  Cricket
India withdraw tour quit threat
12 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Support grows for umpire Bucknor
09 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Indian fans vent their anger
08 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Harbhajan fallout
07 Jan 08 |  Cricket


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