Harbhajan appeal date set
Harbhajan Singh's appeal hearing will take place on January 29-30, meaning the spinner is available for the final two Tests in Australia.
Last Updated: 14/01/08 5:46pm
Harbhajan Singh is able to play in the final two Tests against Australia after the International Cricket Council announced his appeal against a three-match ban for racially abusing Andrew Symonds will take place on January 29-30 in Adelaide.
That means Harbhajan is available for the final two Tests of the series in Perth (Jan 16-20) and Adelaide (Jan 24-28).
Harbhajan was found guilty of racially abusing Symonds at a hearing chaired by match referee Mike Procter following the conclusion of the second Test in Sydney.
Umpires Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor levelled the charge under section 3.3 of the ICC code of conduct after receiving a complaint from Australia captain Ricky Ponting on day three when Harbhajan was batting alongside Sachin Tendulkar.
The BCCI briefly suspended the tour after Harbhajan was found guilty at Procter's hearing, although they subsequently changed course and withdrew their threat to return home. They have since said they will accept the outcome of the appeal hearing, which will be chaired by Justice John Hansen of New Zealand.
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said: "An allegation was made against Harbhajan under the ICC Code of Conduct and he was found guilty by the match referee.
"As is his right under the code, Harbhajan has chosen to have the evidence tested at an appeal before an independent Code of Conduct Commissioner.
"The ICC Members put this appeals process in place in 2002 in order to ensure that an aggrieved player has every opportunity to argue his case.
"We would have preferred the appeal to be held earlier but it was not possible.
"Both Cricket Australia and the Board of Control for Cricket in India have requested the hearing be held after the Test series for logistical reasons and, following due consideration, Justice Hansen agreed.
"The reality is that it is likely to go into a second day as lawyers will be involved so we needed to have two clear days to assign to it.
"With just three full days between the third and fourth Tests, we were conscious of the teams' travel arrangements and preparations for the match."