Kumble not to press charge against Hogg
In a bid to bring about normalcy in relations between the two teams, India captain Anil Kumble is planning to hand over a letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Mike Procter on Monday not pressing the charge his team levelled against Australian spin bowler Brad Hogg.
Kumble's gesture is only to create a cordial atmosphere before he meets his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting in the presence of ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, who has been brought in to create an atmosphere of harmony, a top official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told IANS on Sunday.
"Kumble's sincere effort should not be seen as a quid pro quo, asking the Australians to do the same with their charge against Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh," the official added.
Kumble in his letter to Procter is believed to have stated that he is offering not to press the charge against Hogg only to create a congenial atmosphere in the larger interest of the game.
Kumble has also pointed out in the letter that he had approached Ponting in keeping with the spirit of sportsmanship with an appeal not to insist on pressing the charge against Harbhajan, but the Australian captain rejected it.
The Indian captain has written that he and his team firmly believe that on-field problems between the teams are to be sorted out between the players.
The BCCI, however, is confident of overturning Procter's ruling against Harbhajan with its arguments before the ICC appeals commissioner John Hansen. The brief has been overseen by the country's two best legal brains, Kapil Sibbal and Arun Jaitley.
Madugalle has flown to Perth as a facilitator to help match referee Procter in cooling the frayed tempers of the players in the aftermath of the Sydney Test.
The BCCI, however, does not appear to be overly enthusiastic about the outcome of the meeting of the captains as Madugalle's brief seems to be only to see India's tour through without any more hassles and he is not likely to address the issues arising out of the three-Test ban on Harbhajan Singh by Procter.
The other disheartening factor for the board is the stand adopted by Cricket Australia (CA), which has expressed its inability to intervene and prevail upon their team not to press the charge against Harbhajan.
To prove its sincerity in looking for an amicable settlement, BCCI president Sharad Pawar had asked joint secretary M.P. Pandove to fly out to Perth to help the team management fighting on various fronts.
However, Pandove had to pull out at the last minute and rush back to his hometown Patiala from Mumbai to be with his elder brother, who has developed post-surgery complications.
Till late Sunday night, the BCCI has not decided on a replacement for Pandove.