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January 7, 2008
Mike Procter, the ICC match referee who handed Harbhajan Singh a three-Test ban for alleged racist remarks against Andrew Symonds, has defended his decision to punish the Indian offspinner.
"I am South African, and I understand the word racism," Procter told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I have lived with it for much of my life. This was not a case of just taking the word of an Australian over an Indian. I stand by my decision. I believe the process was a fair one. I intend to carry on for the rest of the series, because I don't have a problem with India. I have always had a good rapport with Indian players."
Procter said it had been a tough day at the office for him. "Obviously this has all been very difficult for me. I didn't get to sleep until 11am [on Monday], and then only for a couple of hours. It has been one of the most difficult days of my life."
Procter said Sunday's hearing was not a heated affair, adding he was unsure when the procedure for the appeal over the ban would take place. However, he did say the hearing into Brad Hogg's alleged remarks would be conducted on either January 13 or 14 in Perth.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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