India, Australia in cricket detente
( dpa ) - India's cricket tour of Australia is back on after the visitors withdrew their complaint that Brad Hogg called captain Anil Kumble a "bastard," and an appeal over Harbhajan Singh's punishment for calling Andrew Simonds a "monkey" was put off until the four-match series is over.
International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed announced Tuesday that Harbhajan's appeal against a three-match ban would be heard at the end of January, meaning the spinner would be available for the remaining tests in Perth and Adelaide.
"We would have preferred the appeal to be held earlier, but it was not possible," Speed said. "The reality is that it is likely to go into a second day as lawyers will be involved, so we needed to have two clear days to assign to it."
Chief umpire Ranjan Madugalle, whom the ICC appointed as a peacemaker, met Kumble and Australian captain Ricky Ponting. The two captains then met, and each issued statements declaring the animosities were over.
The acrimony began during the test in Sydney, which the hosts won by 122 runs with just minutes of play remaining. The win, which gave Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, exemplified the host side's win-at-all-costs attitude and drew criticism from Kumble.
Kumble accused the Australians of not honouring the traditions of the game by claiming wickets that were not rightfully theirs and by staying at the crease when they knew they were out.
Ponting inflamed matters by not shaking hands with Kumble at the end of the match and then reporting Harbhajan for an alleged racial slur on Symonds.
"It's important that we forget what happened in Sydney," Kumble said after the meetings in a Perth hotel. "It's important that we moved on."
Ponting, who has weathered calls for his sacking following the nasty clash in Sydney, said issues had been resolved. "We have decided from here on in that this series will be played in great spirit," Ponting told reporters.
The Perth Test begins Wednesday.