An Australian club cricket team, accused of racially abusing players of Indian descent during a match, has been cleared of the charge even though two of its members were banned for sledging.
After a marathon hearing stretching over nine hours, the Geelong Cricket Association last night dismissed charges of racial abuse as "unsubstantiated".
Waurn Ponds' club against members of the Thomson club made the racial abuse complaint.
"The hearing found two Thomson players and one Waurn Ponds player had breached the GCA's code of conduct in relation to sledging and playing outside the spirit of the game," the 'Geelong Advertiser' reported.
"Thomson captain Michael O'Neill and teammate Morgan Cleary were banned from tday's semi-final and received a three-match suspended sentence until the end of the 2011-12 season for breaching the players' code of conduct.
"One Waurn Ponds player, Chandranraj D. Basavaraju, was issued with a reprimand plus a two-match suspended sentence until the end of 2011-12 after being found guilty of breaching the players' code of conduct," it added.
Thomson was also slapped with a 1000 dollars fine suspended until the end of 2011-12.
The probe was launched after a written complaint from the Waurn Ponds Cricket Club on Sunday, which stated that Thomson players in a fourth-grade qualifying final racially abused six Waurn players of Indian descent last Saturday.