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Harbhajan in racial abuse row

Australia's all-rounder Andrew Symonds accuses Harbhajan Singh of racial abuse during Sydney Test.

cricket Updated: Jan 05, 2008 09:32 IST

Australia's all-rounder Andrew Symonds on Friday accused Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh of racial abuse, a serious development which could lead to more bad blood between the two teams.

Umpires Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor have laid the charge against Harbhajan after consulting with an agitated Ricky Ponting at the end of the third day's play of the second cricket Test.

The exact comments have not been known but Indian team's media manager has confirmed that a "hearing" is scheduled for Saturday.

There was a mid-pitch verbal spat between the two who have been carrying on a battle since the last series in India in October. The two exchanged words before Sachin Tendulkar, Matthew Hayden and umpire Benson intervened to calm the nerves.

Harbhajan has been reported for International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct 3.3. It states: "Using language or gestures that offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, gender, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin."

Both cricketers have put up sterling performances in the riveting second Test, Symonds striking 162 not out and Harbhajan making a spirited 63 to go with his two wickets in Australia's first knock.

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