Rodney Hogg's racist tweet oversteps mark

23:05, Jan 26 2012
Rodney Hogg
TWITTER TWIT: Former Australian pace bowler Rodney Hogg sparked condemnation in the Muslim community with an ill-advised tweet.

Rodney Hogg famously kicked over the stumps and stormed off Karnataka Stadium in Bangalore after being persistently no-balled by an Indian umpire in 1979 - and the fiery former Australian fast bowler is still over-stepping the mark.

Hogg's supposed attempt at humour via Twitter midway through Australia Day celebrations yesterday enraged the Muslim community and forced a swift back down by the 60-year-old test cricketer turned corporate speaker.

He badly misread the mood of his followers on the national holiday when he tweeted: "Just put out my Aussie flag for Australia Day but I wasn't sure if it would offend Muslims ... So I wrote 'Allah is a shit' on it to make sure."

He had to apologise twice on Twitter after his initial explanation drew as much ire as the offending tweet, which was deleted after several hours.

Hogg did not return calls from the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper but texted: "Very bad attempted Aussie humour. My apologies for offending. that is all I wld like to say."

A similar explanation on Twitter outraged many users and prompted a second apology.

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"My sincere apologies to the Muslim community. A stupid tweet by me in very bad taste," Hogg tweeted.

The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ikebal Patel, said the remark was "absolutely despicable" for a person of Hogg's standing.

"For him to say such things is more than despicable, it's the pits really," Mr Patel told the SMH.

"It's not at all humorous. If that's the level of his humour then God help him."

Mr Patel, an Australia Day ambassador last year, said Hogg had tarnished his on-field achievements.

"I'm very disappointed that I paid money to watch him now," Mr Patel said.

Hogg, who played 38 tests between 1978-84, is not the only former Australian cricketer to make inappropriate comments in relation to Muslims.

Former batsman Dean Jones lost his commentary job with the Dubai-based broadcaster Ten Sports for saying "the terrorist has got another wicket" after South African Muslim player Hashim Amla took a catch in 2006.

Although Hogg was caught out yesterday he did recently tweet his support for Australian Muslim batsman Usman Khawaja, who was dropped from the test team following the defeat to New Zealand in Hobart last month.

His replacement Shaun Marsh has barely scored a run in the current series against India leading to Hogg to suggest Khawaja may have been demoted too soon.

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