Cricket Australia CEO pledges support for Ponting

January 9th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
Sydney, Jan.9 (ANI): Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland today pledged his support for besieged captain Ricky Ponting and his Test team.
Sutherland said Ponting had the full backing of the CA board and supported the captain’s offer to clear the air with Kumble prior to next week’s Test in Perth.
I have spoken to Ricky Ponting and made it absolutely clear to him on behalf of the board of Cricket Australia that we do not support that criticism and the support of him as team captain is absolute, said Sutherland.
I’ve had discussions with Ricky Ponting over the last few days and in my mind he is in a very good space. Ricky is very willing and a number of days ago made an offer to Anil Kumble to get together and talk through their differences of opinion. I’m very confident that will happen, quoted Sutherland, as saying.
The Australian team plays the game tough and uncompromising. Test cricket is what is being played, it is not tiddlywinks. The Australian cricket team will be the first to admit they are not perfect. They don’t get it right all of the time, but they get it right a lot more now than they used to since their public pledge to the spirit of cricket in 2003, he added.
Sutherland’s public support comes after International Cricket Council announced Test spinner Brad Hogg would face Code of Conduct hearing next Monday.
Hogg is alleged to have abused Kumble and vice-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the second Test in Sydney which India lost by 122 runs last Sunday.
Hogg faces a ban of between two and four Test matches after being charged with the level three offence under the ICC’s code of conduct which refers to abuse on the basis of a player’s race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethic origin.
The action follows the three-Test ban handed to Harbhajan Singh after match referee Mike Procter found the spinner had racially abused Australia batsman Andrew Symonds in the same game.
India had effectively put the four-Test tour on hold but Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah said it had decided to go ahead with the tour after the ICC’s intervention.
The tourists arrived in Canberra this afternoon where they will play a two-day game against an ACT XI starting tomorrow.
The third Test of the four-match series starts at Perth’s WACA Ground next Wednesday.
The ICC has said Harbhajan will be allowed to play the final two Tests in Perth and Adelaide until the commissioner, who has yet to be named, has completed his inquiry.
According to ICC boss Malcolm Speed the replacement of umpire Steve Bucknor has stopped an international incident from becoming an international crisis. (ANI)

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