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Ranjan confident of brokering peace

ICC's peacemaker, chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle is confident he can restore order to the Aus-India Test series.

cricket Updated: Jan 11, 2008 12:14 IST

International Cricket Council's peacemaker, chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, is confident he can restore order to the Australia-India Test series, the Australian media reporteRanjand in Sydney on Friday.

"They (Anil Kumble and Ricky Ponting) are two captains with a great amount of experience, and they would know that the game is bigger than everything," Madugalle was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Madugalle said that both Ponting and Kumble are reasonable men, well capable of reaching an amicable arrangement to end the damaging feud between the two teams.

"Each one realises that cricket is everyone's passion, and they will stretch that little bit extra to uphold the spirit of the game. I have an open briefing to get things back on track.

"I will try and go about things quietly and do as much as I can without making too much noise about it. We'll see at the end of the five days if it has worked, but I am optimistic that everyone wants to do the right thing by the game," said Madugalle.

The chief match referee, on arrival at Perth on Saturday, is likely meet the warring captains the following day. The former Sri Lankan batsman has been appointed to the highly unusual role of co-match referee, with a brief to peacefully resolve the bickering and ill feelings that have surfaced in the aftermath of the Sydney Test.

Mike Procter remains the official match referee for the Perth encounter.

The Indians remain incensed by Ponting's move to make the Harbhajan Singh race row public, and the subsequent decision of Procter to ban the controversial spinner for three Tests.

The Australians, too, are frustrated by India's counter move to report Brad Hogg to the authorities for calling Kumble and Mahendra Dhoni "bastards" during the Sydney Test.

Harbhajan's appeal and Hogg's hearing will be held in Perth next week, and the results of both could go far to determine the spirit in which the Perth Test will be played.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has reserved the right to cancel the remainder of the tour if Harbhajan's appeal is thrown out by New Zealand High Court judge John Hansen, and anything short of a complete overturning of the ban will likely result in renewed controversy.