BCCI, ICC set for a showdown

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/harbhajan_ap.jpg' class='caption'> The BCCI has made it clear that racism allegations against Harbhajan Singh are unacceptable and the Board may pull out of the remaining tour.

Updated: January 29, 2008 08:59 IST
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India's tour of Australia is in doubt once again.

Spinner Harbhajan Singh's appeal against the three-match ban and racism charge is due to be heard on Tuesday. But the BCCI has made it clear that racism allegations are unacceptable and the Board may pull out of the remaining tour if the charges are not dropped.

The ICC judge hearing the Harbhajan appeal has said he will allow fresh evidence.

The most critical evidence would be the stump microphone recordings during the second Test in Sydney.

Justice John Hansen, the New Zealand judge, who was appointed Commissioner for the hearing will chair the proceedings.

The Indian team is not leaving Adelaide until Bhajji's appeal is heard.

The decision of the appeals commissioner to possibly take into account video and audio footage from the stump microphones means that there is a new twist in the case.

The evidence could be incriminating or else it could help Harbhajan. He was banned for three tests for allegedly calling Andrew Symonds a monkey in the Sydeny Test.

"I might allow fresh evidence like the stump-cam video which was not available to Mike Procter. This matter is subjudice and I can't talk about this anymore," said Justice John Hansen, ICC Appeals Commissioner.

The big difference between the first hearing and this hearing is that fresh evidence will be presented this time. The big question is will there be enough evidence to incriminate Harbhajan with the audio from the stump microphone?

The BCCI is clearly upset with this development since no video and audio footage was used in the first hearing and seems quite intent on carrying out the threat of pulling out of the tour incase Harbhajan is branded as a racist.

"To get new evidence in an appeal hearing is against normal judicial practice," said Sharad Pawar, president, BCCI.

Former BCCI president IS Bindra has been trying to sort out the issue with Cricket Australia.

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