Charges against Harbhajan can't be dropped now: ICC
Even if Australia decides to withdraw racism charges that earned the spinner a three-match ban, it's too late, according to laws of the International Cricket Council (ICC).cricket Updated: Jan 14, 2008 22:31 IST
While Brad Hogg is celebrating after India withdrew charges against him, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh stands no such chance even if Australia wants to reciprocate to India's goodwill gesture.
Even if Australia suddenly has a change of heart and decides to withdraw racism charges that earned the spinner a three-match ban from the Match Referee, it's too late, according to laws of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
According to a source in the ICC, once the Appeals Commissioner is appointed, the process would complete its full course, even if the complainant wants to drop the charges.
"In Hogg's case, the charges of abusing the Indian players were laid by their administrative manager Chetan Chauhan, who later withdrew it," he said.
"But in Harbhajan's case, the charges were brough by both the on-field umpires, after which ICC has already appointed John Hansen as the Appeals Commissioner. The process would go the full distance in this case", the source said.
Harbhajan was slapped with a three-match ban by Match Referee Mike Proctor who found the Indian off-spinner guilty of racially abusing Australia's Andrew Symonds during the ill-tempered second Test in Sydney.
Harbhajan has decided to appeal against the ruling but the ICC has still not fixed a date for the hearing.