Harbhajan Singh was jubliant in taking a wicket, but
did he cross the line when talking to Andrew Symonds
[AFP]
A hearing into allegations that India's Harbhajan Singh made racist comments to Australia's Andrew Symonds has been delayed until after the second test finishes on Sunday.

The International Cricket Council announced that match referee Mike Procter had postponed the hearing at the request of India's team management.

"I am satisfied that with a further 24 hours India will have time to sufficiently prepare for this hearing," Procter said.

The India spinner faces a grade 3 charge of misconduct which can carry sanctions up to a four-test ban.

He was reported to Procter by umpires after day three, when he scored 63 runs in an important 129-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting complained to the umpires about an exchange that happened soon after Harbhajan reached his half century.

The umpires then spoke to Harbhajan and India captain Anil Kumble on the field.

Harbhajan has denied making any racist remarks.

"I did not say anything racist. I do not know what is going on," Harbhajan said.

"I haven't done anything, we were just talking ... it was just normal talk out on the cricket field."

India batsman Sourav Ganguly said he was not aware of the racism allegations until he read them in local newspapers on Saturday and knew only that words had been exchanged on the field.

The India team's media manager, Dr. M.V. Sridhar, declined comment until after the hearing.

"The matter is with the match referee. We'll wait until the outcome of that and then take a stand," he said.

Procter told the Australian cricket broadcaster Channel 9 that umpires Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor did not hear any racist remarks and only reported allegations because of Ponting's complaint.

"The umpires did not hear anything, they did not know anything about it," he said.

Symonds, who has West Indian heritage, was also subject to alleged racial abuse from crowds during Australia's tour to India last October, but Indian authorities found no evidence of racism.

Source: Agencies