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Appeal begins on Tuesday morning

All witnesses will testify again and the transcript of the stump mike will now play a crucial role, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2008 19:16 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

New Zealand Judge John Hansen, the Appeals Commissioner who will hear Harbhajan Singh's appeal against his ban, made a statement to the media on Monday in Adelaide on the procedure to be followed in the hearing, which will begin in Adelaide's Federal Court on Tuesday morning.

Hansen, who will be assisted by lawyer John Jordan, said that all the players and officials who testified in the original hearing conducted by ICC Match Referee Mike Procter, would be asked to give evidence again and would then be cross examined by the legal representatives for the BCCi and Cricket Australia.

The interesting part is that Hansen will have access to the transcript from the stump microphone, which, interestingly, was not available to Procter for the initial hearing. So far, it has been given to understand that there was nothing available from the stump mikes, which is what created the need for everyone to go simply by the word of what was said on the field.

In the three weeks since the hearing, the ICC legal counsel (and presumably those of the national boards, as initially, the BCCI did not have access to the tapes from Channel 9), have had access to and re-examined the tapes from the incident and have obviously been able to come up with something that was not immediately evident, or, has not been shown/heard till now.

The other interesting part is that when India took back the charges against Brad Hogg, despite their publicly stating that they did not do so expecting Australia to respond in kind against Harbhajan Singh, privately, they did hope the Aussies would "do the right thing".

The Indians have maintained Harbhajan's innocence (with regard to any racial taunts or intent to humiliate Symonds on the basis of his nationality, race or ethnic origin) right through. As the process had already begun and the matter was with the ICC, Australia could not, in any case, have taken the case back then, but whether they have agreed to water it down or not, we will know only on the morrow.