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BCCI to refuse stump evidence

The Indian board will not agree if a fresh 'transcript' proof from a stump microphone emerges in the hearing.

cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2008 10:46 IST

Indian board, it is learnt, will not agree if fresh evidence in the form of transcript from a stump microphone emerges in the two-day hearing on Harbhajan Singh's appeal against a ban beginning in Adelaide on Monday.

"The evidence could be tampered, it could be doctored. We wouldn't allow this so-called fresh evidence to surface after so many days," stated a highly placed Indian board official on Monday.

The day began with the ICC appointed commissioner in charge of the proceedings, Justice John Hansen, outlining the procedures for the hearing. Among other things, the most startling was the procedure in which "additional evidence" in the form of "transcript available from the stump microphone" being used to decide on the case.

"There may be some additional evidence, such as the transcript available from the stump microphone, which was not available to Mr (Mike) Procter," the judge from New Zealand said.

I S Bindra, a senior BCCI official, has been here since last week and spent evenings with the president of Cricket Australia (CA), Craig O'Connor, in order to thrash out the contentious issue.

Harbhajan was slapped with a three-match ban by match referee Mike Procter after the Sydney Test for allegedly racially abusing Andrew Symonds whose point was supported by three members of his team.

The word of Sachin Tendulkar, batting partner with Harbhajan, said to the contrary, was not taken into account.

The hearing in the appeal against the ban, to be held in private at the Federal Court here tomorrow, will give an opportunity to both the counsels to cross-examine the witnesses though it being a sporting disciplinary hearing, the evidence will not be on oath.

Justice Hansen declared that soon after he arrived at a decision, he would forward his ruling to Harbhajan, Procter and the chief executive of the ICC.

If Harbhajan was to prove guilty, and the Indian board was to carry its threat, the damages for abandoning the tour could amount to 2.3 million Australian dollars as penalty which to the cash rich Indian board would amount to peanuts.