Symonds rejects criticism in race row

symondAustralian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has rejected criticism that he sparked the racism row with India’s Harbhajan Singh in the recent Test series in an article published on Sunday.

In overturning a suspension against Harbhajan for allegedly calling Symonds a “big monkey,” International Cricket Council’s appeals commissioner John Hansen said there was not enough evidence to prove the off-spinner had made the remark.

Hansen was also critical of the behaviour of Symonds, whom he said unnecessarily instigated the verbal exchange.“To have people questioning my integrity as a person and cricketer is pretty ordinary,” Symonds wrote in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph.

Lee stars in abandoned game

leeAustralia dominated India for the majority of the tri-series opener in Brisbane but the monsoonal weather intervened and ensured that both teams left the Gabba with two points apiece. India’s athletic but inexperienced side had its merits and demerits: the running between the wickets was the sharpest it’s been for a while but the raw middle order crumbled against an all-pace attack led by Brett Lee, who once again emphasised that he was at the peak of his powers with his seventh five-wicket haul.

Australia, India take battle into triangular series

Australia and India will continue their recent bitter rivalry when the one-day triangular cricket series also involving Sri Lanka begins at the Gabba here on Sunday (tomorrow).

The squads are coming off a hotly disputed four-Test series in which some searing on-field performances were overshadowed by an ugly dispute involving Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

Harbhajan was initially suspended for two Tests when match referee Mike Proctor ruled he had racially abused Symonds during the second Test in Sydney. But that suspension was overturned on appeal this week, with the Indian spinner cleared of all but a minor charge of using abusive language, a decision that reportedly left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Australian squad.

India crash to nine-wicket defeat

It was hardly the stuff of world champions. Four months after India were crowned the world’s best Twenty20 side, they crashed to a humiliating nine-wicket defeat against Australia at the MCG. They were so rusty that they almost broke Kenya’s record of 73, the lowest total in Twenty20 internationals, instead registering the second-worst score of 74 as they failed to adjust to the tempo.

BCCI asks its players to behave

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has told its players in Australia to behave themselves after the row involving spinner Harbhajan Singh overshadowed an exciting Test series, its secretary Niranjan Shah said on Thursday.

“We have already asked the players, given them instructions not to get into such type of altercations,” Shah told Reuters, adding that he expected India to put the controversy behind them for the remainder of the tour.

On Tuesday, International Cricket Council (ICC) appeals commissioner John Hansen downgraded the charges against Harbhajan from racial abuse against Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds to using abusive language due to a lack of evidence.

India to use Twenty20 as practice

At the MCG on Friday, the world champions will attempt to maintain their unbeaten run against a talented opposition boasting a number of fresh faces. But in a reversal of the usual trend in recent years, Australia are the challengers and India are out to confirm their status as the world’s best Twenty20 side.

The teams have met twice before in the shortest format and India came out on top both times, first with a 15-run semi-final win at the ICC World Twenty20 and then with a seven-wicket triumph in Mumbai a month later. However, India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his side was not overly concerned about Friday’s result.

Insufficient evidence against Harbhajan – Hansen

Lack of sufficient evidence, a more rigorous judicial process and an inexplicable botch-up on the part of the ICC allowed Harbhajan Singh to get away with a 50% fine, it emerged after Justice John Hansen read out the reasons for his verdict a day after the hearing in Adelaide.

Andrew Symonds’ inability to conclusively say whether Harbhajan Singh had used the word monkey or a Hindi abuse, and his admission that the language did not fall under the requirements of a level 3.3 offence played a crucial part.

Australia incensed by Harbhajan reprieve

Harbhajan Singh’s exoneration for his alleged “monkey” comment towards Andrew Symonds has been hailed as a victory for justice in India, but the decision has incensed Australia’s cricketers, who believe their board has caved in to overwhelming pressure from the game’s financial superpower.

In a front-page article in Wednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald, an unnamed Australian cricketer has hit out at the decision, which was only reached after Cricket Australia persuaded their five players at the hearing to downgrade their charge against Harbhajan from racism to abusive language. Instead of being banned for three Tests as per the original verdict, he was fined 50% of his match fee.

BCCI president says introducing new evidence is unfair

A day before Justice John Hansen begins hearing Harbhajan Singh’s appeal in the racism case, the counsel for the Indian side, VR Manohar, said he would not oppose the use of additional evidence like the transcript of the stump microphone but would object to any embellished improvised material, which he said was “fishy” evidence.

However, the BCCI has said that introducing new evidence at this stage was not a normal court practice. “Our lawyer has said that whatever comes to the fore in the lower court is discussed or heard by the appellate commissioner, bringing new evidence is against the rule,” BCCI president Sharad Pawar told reporters in New Delhi.

Adelaide draw gives Australia series

It was Adam Gilchrist’s final day as a Test player and perhaps the last time that Australian crowds will watch Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble in a five-day game. But on a day for legends, it was another touched by greatness that stole the plaudits with a magnificent century that earned India a draw at the Adelaide Oval. Australia may have won the series 2-1, but Virender Sehwag’s dazzling 151 will still be talked about in the years to come. The marquee names either failed or were incapacitated, and the next-highest score was Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 20.