New Zealand judge to adjudicate in Harbhajan’s case


Dubai : New Zealand High Court Judge John Hansen has been appointed as the commissioner in Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh’s Code of Conduct appeal hearing, it was announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) here Wednesday.

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Harbhajan and the Board of Control for Cricket in India have appealed against the three-Test ban imposed on the player after he was found guilty of making a racist remark against Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the second Test at Sydney.

Hansen was appointed as the commissioner after the ICC received official notification of the appeal from the Indian board, Monday. Hansen will now make preparations for the appeal hearing.

No time, date or venue for the appeal has yet been fixed. The process indicates that the appeal should be heard within seven days of the commissioner being appointed. However, this time period may be extended if circumstances dictate.

The charge against Harbhajan was laid by the two umpires after the close of play on day three of the second Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground following a complaint they received from the Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

Ponting made the complaint after the 116th over of India’s first innings, prior to which Harbhajan is alleged to have made a racist comment directed at Symonds.

ICC Match referee Mike Procter found Harbhajan guilty of the charge in a hearing after the end of the match Sunday.

Now, under the provisions of the ICC Code of Conduct, Hansen has the power to increase, decrease, amend or otherwise substitute his own decision from that made at the previous hearing, and his decision is final and binding.

Harbhajan is allowed to play pending verdict of the appeal.