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Harbhajan cleared of racial abuse

Harbhajan Singh has been cleared to play in the forthcoming triangular one-day series between Australia, Sri Lanka and India, after a charge of making racial comments was overturned at an International Cricket Council code of conduct appeal hearing.

Harbhajan's initial penalty of a three-Test ban has been quashed, with the off-spinner fined 50 per cent of his match fee from the second Test in Sydney after pleading guilty to using abusive language towards Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

New Zealand High Court Judge John Hansen ruled there was not sufficient evidence to prove an offence under rule 3.3 of the code of conduct, which relates to racially insulting behaviour.

The maximum penalty for a level two offence - which covers abusive language - is a one Test match ban or a suspension of two one-day internationals but the India bowler's punishment is at the lowest end of the scale.

Audio and video evidence was presented at the trial, while a full explanation of Justice Hansen's decision will be made tomorrow.

The Commonwealth Bank triangular series will also go ahead, with the Board of Control for Cricket and India pleased with the outcome of the hearing.