Upset over the ban imposed on Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar on Monday sent an sms to BCCI chief Sharad Pawar assuring him that the off-spinner was innocent and suggesting that India should play the third Test only if the punishment is revoked.
"Harbhajan is innocent and I can assure you on this. In this hour of crisis, the Board should stand by him. I suggest we should play in Perth only if the ban is lifted," Tendulkar reportedly told Pawar through the text message.
Sachin was among the five Indians, who attended the ICC Match Referee Mike Procter's hearing into the allegation of racial abuse made by Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
Pawar, meanwhile, said he spoke to Indian skipper Anil Kumble and team manager Chetan Chauhan also before the appeal against Procter's verdict was prepared and the BCCI was expecting a response from the ICC by on Tuesday.
"I have seen the draft and it was approved by Arun Jaitely and other colleagues. I spoke to skipper Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar and manager Chetan Chauhan, understood the situation and took their views and assessement.
"We have demanded the supension of the ban. We are expecting a response from the ICC by Tuesday. We also have a working committee meeting, so will take the final decision tomorrow," Pawar said in New Delhi.