Symonds accuses Bhajji of racial abuse

Published: Friday, January 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Sydney: Harbhajan Singh has been summoned by the Match Referee Mike Procter after he had a bit of a run-in with temperamental Aussie Andrew Symonds.

Symonds has levelled a charge of racial abuse against Harbhajan Singh through his skipper Ricky Ponting, and the match referee has scheduled a disciplinary hearing for the Jan 5.

The Indian team management says they are trying to sort the matter out with the Aussie counterparts.

Bhajji, who made a strokeful 63 and also was associated in useful 129-run stand with Tendulkar, had a heated exchange of words with Symonds. The 27-year-old Indian offie was possibly reacting to chatter he was getting from the Aussie.

Although it appears that Harbhajan did make an effort at apologizing, the racial abuse charges have made it necessary for the match referee to call for a hearing.

No ill-feeling between Bhajji-Symmo, says Sachin: Meanwhile batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar dismissed reports about any ill feeling between Harbhajan Singh and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, after the third day's play at the SCG here today.

''A couple of lines exchanged here and there. I don't think it's that big an issue.'' Television replays showed Harbhajan beckoning Symonds and the two of them having an extended conversation before Matthew Hayden and Sachin Tendulkar, who was batting at the other end, intervened, said Tendulkar in the press session later in the day.

Tendulkar, who crafted a fine 154*, added: ''As long as the game moves on and the players don't cross the limit, it's fine.'' Asked what went on in the middle, Tendulkar replied ''It was about 'you seem to be very friendly with our bowlers', that's what (Harbhajan) said.

'Aren't you trying to be friends with me now? I am a bowler as well'.''


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