Symonds irate, angry
Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has rejected criticism that he sparked the racism row with India's Harbhajan Singh in the recent Test series in an article published Sunday.
In overturning a suspension against Harbhajan for allegedly calling Symonds a "big monkey," International Cricket Council's appeals commissioner John Hansen said there was not enough evidence to prove the off-spinner had made the remark.
Hansen was also critical of the behaviour of Symonds, whom he said unnecessarily instigated the verbal exchange.
"To have people questioning my integrity as a person and cricketer is pretty ordinary," Symonds wrote in Sydney's Sunday Telegraph.
"Anyone who knows me understands that I'm a very straight up and down bloke, what you see is what you get, so to have people saying I'm not playing cricket in the right spirit really makes my blood boil."
Match referee Mike Procter suspended Harbhajan during the controversial second Test between Australia and India in Sydney for allegedly making the remark to Symonds, Australia's only black player.
But Hansen said Symonds had challenged Harbhajan with an "unnecessary invective-laden attack" after the Indian patted Australian fast bowler Brett Lee on the behind in what he viewed as a sporting gesture.
India had threatened to quit the triangular one-day series beginning Sunday over the dispute.
Symonds wrote that the last month has been the most stressful of his career.
"From the initial racism row to the threats about the whole series being called off, my head hasn't stopped spinning," he said. "It's been a rough ride and it's taken a pretty big toll on me personally, but more importantly, on my family, my girlfriend and those close to me."
Hansen downgraded the racism charge against Harbhajan to one of using general obscene, offensive or insulting language, overturned the suspension and fined him 50 percent of his match fee.
"I'm quite happy for the general public to make up their own minds about what did or didn't happen, but I can assure you I wouldn't take a stand against something unless I really believed in it," Symonds wrote.
Australia beat India in a Twenty20 clash on Friday night. The two teams meet Sunday in a one-day international.