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Time to move on, says Anil Kumble

They say let bygones be bygones and the Indian skipper is trying to focus on that only as he asserts the importance of proceeding ahead with cricket after Sydney episode.

cricket Updated: Jan 09, 2008 23:30 IST

"I think it's important to move on," skipper Anil Kumble said on Wednesday as his team proceeded ahead with the rest of their Australian tour after a storm over umpiring blunders and three-Test ban on Harbhajan Singh.

The team, which had stayed put in Sydney following the storm, travelled to Canberra on Wednesday for a three-day game ahead of the third Test beginning in Perth from January 16.

"It's nice to be playing cricket again. I look forward to this game (three-day Canberra game). It's important to move on", Kumble told reporters.

"I think it's important to move on, cricket is larger than individuals and I respect that and it's important that we move on," he said. "The focus for us is to ensure that we get the best possible out of this game," he said.

Looking back at the two days spent in Sydney, Kumble admitted it tested his side's patience. "It's been tough, very difficult, because it's a very serious issue. The entire team is together in this. Board is backing us fully, we are all with Bhajji, it's not easy but he seems to be in a good mood," he said.

Kumble also revealed that he had requested Ricky Ponting to withdraw the "racist abuse" charge against Harbhajan Singh but his plea was not taken too seriously by the Australian skipper, who was perhaps unmindful of its implications.

"I did make a request to Ponting, if it can be sorted out before it went up to the match referee. But he said a report has already been made," the Indian skipper disclosed.

"Having played cricket for this long, I knew such allegations could spiral into something bigger, I envisaged it could become a larger issue," Kumble said.

He reiterated that Harbhajan never used the word for which he was punished by match referee Mike Procter last week.

"It is a serious charge. From what we gathered from our teammates, the two people who were in the middle, that remark was never made," he asserted. "Whatever people believe the word was said, he didn't say it," he added. "Hopefully, whatever happens to the appeal, we would get the right decision," Kumble said.

Kumble did not commit himself on whether the captains' agreement, to go by the fielder's word on close catches, before the start of the tour would remain in practice for the rest of the series.

He also refrained from commenting on his team's stance on the charge they have pressed against Australian spinner Brad Hogg, saying, "we would wait for the hearing and then let you know."

On the third Test, Kumble wanted his team to make good use of the three-day practice game and sort out a few niggling positions in the composition of the side.

"We need to be on top of our games to beat Australia. We have done that in patches in this series, we had a chance to draw the Sydney game, it didn't happen," he said. "I am sure there will be moments in Perth where we need to seize those opportunities," he signed off.