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January 14, 2008
Harbhajan Singh's appeal over his three-Test ban will be heard in Adelaide on January 29 and 30, after the Test series between Australia and India, leaving him free to play the last two Tests. New Zealand judge John Hansen, the commissioner appointed to hear the appeal, has agreed to hold the hearing after the fourth Test in Adelaide following formal requests from Cricket Australia and the Indian board.
"We would have preferred the appeal to be held earlier but it was not possible," Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said. "Both CA and the BCCI have requested the hearing to 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," he said, "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."
The provisions of the ICC Code of Conduct indicate that the hearing should be held within seven days of the commissioner being appointed but it may be delayed if circumstances make it unfeasible and the commissioner agrees, as in this case.
Harbhajan was banned for three Tests after being found guilty under Level 3 of the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct following an incident that took place during the second Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. ICC match referee Mike Procter upheld the umpires' report that Harbhajan had made a racist remark against Andrew Symonds and served him with the ban.
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