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India drop charges against Hogg

Last updated on: January 14, 2008 16:29 IST

Sending out a message of goodwill, India on Monday dropped the charge of abusive language by Australian spinner Brad Hogg, saying it is time to move on with cricket.

The Indian team management decided to withdraw all charges against Hogg at the hearing with Match Referee Mike Procter, a development that could have a bearing on the racial abuse case involving Indian off- spinner.

Skipper Anil Kumble, who had a reconciliation meeting with rival captain Ricky Ponting during the day, told reporters that the Indians decided to drop the charge.

"It was just something that happened in the heat of the moment. Cricket is larger than individual and its time to move on," Kumble said.

It was not known whether the Indians had worked out a peace deal with the Australians following the acrimonious developments in the Sydney Test or whether the hosts were willing to reciprocate by withdrawing the racial abuse charge against Harbhajan Singh.

Match Referee Procter described India's move as a "magnificent gesture" while Hogg was also prompt to thank the Indians for letting him off the hook.

It is learnt that the decision to drop the charges against Hogg was taken at the behest of Kumble in consultation with BCCI officials.

Hogg was charged under Level 3 of the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct following allegations that he verbally abused Anil Kumble and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Hogg is accused of making the remarks during the final day of the controversial second Test in Sydney.

The alleged offence has been reported under paragraph 3.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct which refers to players or team officials "using language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethic origin".

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was also reported under the same clause and later found guilty of racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

Harbhajan was banned for three Tests after the hearing but the Indian off-spinner appealed against the ruling.

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