Melbourne, Jan 7: The Indian cricket board has suspended its team's tour of Australia pending the outcome of an appeal for spinner Harbhajan Singh.
The International Cricket Council suspended Harbhajan for three tests on Sunday after he was found guilty of racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds. Harbhajan has denied the claims and the BCCI said that the tour would be suspended until his appeal had been heard. "The Board will appeal to the International Cricket Council to review the decision of the Match Referee and suspend its operation till the appeal is disposed of," the BCCI said.
"The Indian board realises the game of cricket is paramount, but so too is the honour of the Indian team and for that matter every Indian. To vindicate its position, the board will fight the blatantly false and unfair slur on an Indian player," the BCCI added.
The Indian teams were due to travel to Canberra today to prepare for their next tour match, but returned to their hotel rooms after sitting on their bus for two hours.
Earlier, on Sunday, the ICC banned Harbhajan Singh for three Test matches for alleged racial remarks during the second Test between India and Australia.
The decision was taken after the ICC held a hearing on the racism row involving Harbhajan and the Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
The ICC Match Referee Mike Procter in a marathon six-and-a-half hour hearing upheld the Australian charge that he had racially abused Symonds.
Harbhajan has denied the charge.
Meanwhile, the Indians have also filed a complaint against Australian spinner Brad Hogg for using abusive language during the second Test.
They lodged the complaint against Hogg during the hearing.