Tuesday, January 8, 2008

India's tour of Australia will go ahead

Good news for Indian cricket fans is that Indian team is prepared to travel Canberra ahead of the second warm-up match against ACT Invitational XI as scheduled despite racism and umpiring rows, the Indian cricket board announced here Tuesday.

With the issue of Indian off-spinner Harbhjan Singh ban by match referee Mike Procter, who slapped for a three Test after allegedly racial abuse by Andrew Symonds and horrendous umpiring in the second Test at Sydney.

Doubt over the tour arose after BCCI ordered to stay in Sydney and not proceed to Canberra for a practice match which will start on 10th January.

"The tour will go on, we never said it won't,'' a senior BCCI source said.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has acceded to India’s demand on Tuesday by replacing Jamaican Steve Bucknor with the New Zealander Billy Bowden for the third Test starting in Perth on January 16.

India had demanded Bucknor’s removal from the third Test following umpiring errors in the second Test which Australia won by 122 runs on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth-match series.

"It is accepted that Steve, and his on-field colleague Mark Benson, did not have good games by their very high standards and we feel that given the added pressure and attention Steve's presence would have at the third Test, it is better for the match and for Steve himself if he does not take part,'' ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said in a statement today.

The ICC also decided to appoint a code of conduct commissioner to adjudicate on India's appeal against a ban on spinner Harbhajan Singh for alleged racist remarks against Andrew Symonds.

There is another good news is that Harbhajan may eligible to play the next match pending his appeal against the ban.

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