Kumble said he told Ponting not to lodge formal complaint on race issue

January 9th, 2008 - 7:10 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
Sydney, Jan.9 (ANI): Indian captain Anil Kumble has said that he told Australian skipper Ricky Ponting to settle the Harbhajan Singh racial abuse allegation without making a formal complaint, but Ponting told him he had already told the umpires about the incident.
“When that incident happened I did make a request to Ricky Ponting that it should be handled, if it can be sorted out, whatever. His response was that it had already been reported,” Fox Sports quoted Kumble, as saying.
“Having played cricket for this long, (I knew) such an allegation would definitely spiral into what it has now. I anticipated that it would spiral into a larger issue,” he added.
“From what I gather from my two team-mates from the Indian side who were on the field, that remark was never made. People believe that a word was said, which was not said. It has been tough. It has been very difficult because it’s a very serious issue. The entire team is together on this and has really backed him. I am really proud of that fact and I’d like to thank the BCCI for fully backing us. We are all with Bhaji (Harbhajan). It’s not easy but he seems to be in a good mood,” Kumble was further quoted, as saying.
Kumble said the game was bigger than individuals.
“It will be a hard-fought match (in Perth). It’s important that whatever cricket that we play is remembered. I’m hopeful that will be the case,” he said.
“I have great respect and regard for all the players who play for Australia. It was just one of those incidents which everybody has seen,” Kumble said.
The BCCI has agreed to proceed with the tour “for the time being”, with a dismissal of Harbhajan’s appeal likely to trigger a fresh threat to the one-day series between India, Sri Lanka and Australia due to start in Brisbane on February 3. (ANI)

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