Charges Dropped Against HOGG

Cricket has become a circus. But, the hard news first. Probably, in an effort to ease the tension between the two teams, India has decided to drop charges against Australian left-arm spinner Brad Hogg.A posse of paparazzi waited on the steps of the main entrance to the hotel where the hearing of charges against Hogg was to be held. Hogg had allegedly called Indian captain Anil Kumble and vice-captain Mahendra Dhoni “bastards” on the field during the last test match at Sydney.

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Match referee Mike Proctor, who had delivered the controversial verdict against Harbhajan on January 6, was to preside.

The accused, a local player and former postman, was the first to arrive. Cameramen jostled with each other to capture a few frames of him; their colleagues enthusiastically hurled questions at him – to no avail. He quickly retired to the establishment’s bar, where he awaited being summoned, which he duly was.

Tucked below his armpit was a diary the size of a Bible. It would probably have been an extended defence, if he had chosen to read from his notes!

Australian captain Ricky Ponting, as if by protocol, made a delayed appearance and was pursued by the same gaggle of lensmen and reporters. The Indians, merely having to travel down a lift to make it to the quasi-courtroom, followed their counterparts. The area was, then, sealed off by security-men.

As media stood still, there came a cryptic text message from the Indian team’s communicator, M V Sridhar. “India has withdrawn the charge on (sic) Hogg,” it said.

It was soon revealed that before the hearing could get underway, Indian manager, Chetan Chauhan and Kumble submitted a letter to bring the matter to a close.

A seemingly much relieved Proctor strode to the aforesaid steps to state what a “wonderful gesture” it had been on the part of the Indians.

Hogg replaced him by acknowledging that this was “much appreciated” by him and the Australian side.

“We decided as a team,” said Kumble gallantly, “to move on and remove the charges against Brad Hogg.” Chauhan, though, had a slightly different take on the issue. He maintained the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had instructed the tourists to take the step.

According to Samiullah Hasan, media manager for the International Cricket Council (ICC), Australia cannot reciprocate on accusations against Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh about racial abuse of Australian batsman Andrew Symonds. “The (appeals) process underway will take its course,” he maintained.

Earlier on Monday evening, the ICC’s chief referee, Ranjan Madugalle met captains Kumble and Ponting after having seen the two individually on Sunday. Following this, he was “very confident” that the next Test (starting on Wednesday) will be played in the right spirit.

Both skippers echoed Madugalle’s sentiments. “We have agreed that we must uphold the interests of the game,” Kumble reacted.

Ponting responded: “I am convinced that both teams can move into the next game clearly understanding the parameters under which the game should be played.” This was a slight climb down from his stance a week ago. Thus the circus ended, but with Harbhajan’s fate still in the balance.


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One Response to Charges Dropped Against HOGG

  1. This is an interesting

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