India in Australia 2007-08 January 8, 2008

Indian players unhappy with Procter findings

The manner in which Mike Procter handled the hearing has come in for plenty of criticism from the Indians © Getty Images

The Indian cricketers, especially the seniors, are said to be deeply dissatisfied with the manner in which Mike Procter handled the ICC hearing and with the official document on it that followed. Procter handed out a three-match ban to Harbhajan Singh, saying he was sure "beyond reasonable doubt" that a racist taunt had been directed at Andrew Symonds, but the Indians have claimed the document was extremely flimsy.

The bit that has especially offended them is a line in the document which says, "I believe that one group was telling the truth". The players felt Procter had alleged they were lying and they didn't think there was any fairness to the verdict. According to the players, the wording in the two-page document was ambiguous and left a scope for counter questions.

The players, according to a member of the side, were also "very upset" with the "rough" manner in which they were treated during the hearing. The hearing, conducted by ICC match referee Mike Procter (assisted by English lawyer Nigel Peters), lasted well over four hours and discussed the two offensive terms "monkey" and "big monkey". There was a series of cross-examinations by both parties, with Symonds making the charge and Harbhajan denying it. Of the four other Australian players who turned up, two (Ponting and Gilchrist) said they had heard nothing.

Meanwhile, the Indians changed their plans on Tuesday, preferring to stay in Sydney rather than travel to Canberra because they wanted to complete the "paper work" with regard to the appeal.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo