India have suspended their tour of Australia while they appeal the suspension of spin bowler Harbhjan Singh for racial abuse.
Singh was banned for three Tests after he was alleged to have called Andrew Symonds - the only non-white player in the Australian team - a "monkey".
And the Indian cricket board (BCCI) have responded by halting the tour with two matches of the four Test series still to play, with a statement from the BCCI saying: "The board will appeal to the International Cricket Council to review the decision of the match referee and suspend its operation till the appeal is disposed of."
The India team will now stay in Sydney rather than travel to Canberra for a tour match on Thursday as they await the appeal against the decision by match referee Mike Procter, who was persuaded Harbhajan had used the word and that "he meant it to offend on the basis of Symonds' race or ethnic origin".
The BCCI move is the latest development in a contest which is threatening to rival the infamous 'Bodyline' series for the bitterness between hosts and tourists. India skipper Anil Kumble evoked memories of the 1932-33 Ashes series, when English bowlers used aggressive bowling tactics to nullify the threat of Australian hero Don Bradman.
After his side had lost the second Test following a series of disputed decisions, Kumble said: "Only one team was playing within the spirit of the game, that's all I can say."
The comment recalled the complaint by Bill Woodfull, Australia captain in the Bodyline series, who said: "There are two teams out there, one is playing cricket. The other is making no attempt to do so."
Kumble's team were beaten by 122 runs in Sydney after losing their last three wickets in the penultimate over.
Ponting was satisfied there was "no doubt about this match being played in the right spirit".
He added: "There's been one little issue that's come out of the game. Otherwise, the spirit between both teams in both Tests has been excellent."