India drop charges against Hogg

Published: Monday, January 14, 2008, 17:09 [IST]
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India drop Hogg allegations

Perth: Australian spinner Brad Hogg is free to play against India after the tourists withdrew their complaint that he made offensive comments during the contentious second Test in Sydney.

Hogg had been accused of calling Indian captain Anil Kumble and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni "bastards" at the Sydney Cricket Ground and was due to face a code of conduct hearing here on Monday.

Hogg arrived for the hearing with Cricket Australia officials, but Kumble announced that the Indians had decided to drop the allegations after a peace meeting with Australian captain Ricky Ponting and International Cricket Council chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle just an hour earlier.

"Whatever said and done in the heat of the moment during the matches should not be taken out of the field, and that Hoggy, I believe meant no malice," said the magnanimous Kumble.

"Cricket is larger than the individual and it was important that we forgot about what happened in Sydney as one of those bad moments and that it was time to move on.

"So in view of that, we decided as a team that we withdraw the charge made against Brad Hogg."

Hogg was relieved and thanked the Indians. "It's a kind gesture, a lovely gesture by the Indian team and it's much appreciated by myself and the Australian cricket team," he said.

Despite the good news, Hogg is no certainty to retain his spot for the third Test on his home ground starting Wednesday, with the Australian selectors considering recalling Shaun Tait at the spinner's expense to unleash a four-pronged pace attack against the Indians on what seems certain to be a lively pitch.

The Indians made the initial complaint after spinner Harbhajan Singh was reported for allegedly racially abusing Andrew Symonds.

Harbhajan was handed a three-Test suspension, but is free to play at the WACA pending an appeal.

Now Indians expect the Aussies to follow their suit in Harbhajan issue.

The ICC's Madugalle said he was confident the simmering tensions between the two teams that followed the Sydney Test had now been resolved.

"As captains (Ponting and Kumble) have the responsibility to uphold the game in the right spirit and play the game with mutual respect for one another and I'm very confident that the next five days will see just that.

"So let's all look forward to a great Test match."


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