OFFENDED Hong Kong Dragons team manager, Bharat Gohel, is willing to kiss and make up with selector Jim Middleton over the 'imbeciles' issue - on the condition that the matter is not conveniently swept under the carpet. 'For me this whole matter has a very simple solution. One party must be wrong. Either Jim [Middleton] must make a formal apology or if he has been misquoted, then he must get the newspaper to run a retraction,' said Gohel, speaking from Malaysia where he is on tour with the Hong Kong Dragons. Gohel said this would be the only way that he would back down from his decision to resign as manager of the Tuanku Ja'afar squad - and for the Dragons to change their minds on not representing the Hong Kong Cricket Association in the future. Gohel was furious when a report appeared last week quoting Middleton as saying that local cricketers were a 'load of imbeciles'. A statement which Middleton has denied, saying instead that what he meant was that the selectors would be imbeciles if they did not pick players of the required standard. Almost a week after the controversial remarks by Middleton, Gohel is still steadfast over his decision to step out of the limelight. 'I will stand by my principles,' said Gohel. 'I did not fly off the handle and I'm not blackmailing anyone. But I feel this whole issue has to be cleared up.' The all-Chinese and local-born Dragons - the spearhead of the territory's development programme - are also believed to be fully behind Gohel. Their decision to support him was labelled 'blackmail' by Peter Slack, HKCA chairman. 'No one is blackmailing the association. If we wanted to blackmail the association we would not be playing cricket here in Malaysia at the moment,' said Gohel. 'But if selectors are going to make irresponsible statements, what does it hold for the future of cricket in Hong Kong. There is no hope at all,' said Gohel. 'Any other selector in any other cricket association around the world would have been sacked if he had come out and said that local players are imbeciles. If Jim is not guilty, and it is a genuine mistake, then he should get the newspaper to make a retraction,' added Gohel. The HKCA will meet next Tuesday to decide what course of action to take on this issue which is threatening to derail the entire development programme. The president of the HKCA, John Hung, in a statement to the press, said: 'The story has been sensationalised out of all proportions.' Hung said he had got in touch with Gohel before he left for Malaysia, 'prevailing on him to be calm under the circumstances and not jump to conclusions on the basis of a single unconfirmed press report'. 'The most important fact that arose from my persuasion is that Mr Gohel as manager, and the full Dragons team left on tour as scheduled, and are probably enjoying themselves in Malaysia right now,' said Hung. Gohel, however, said that the question of pulling out of the Malaysia trip had never occurred to him. 'With the commitment, preparation and amount of money put in, it would have been stupid to pull out of the tournament at the last minute. The players had taken leave and it would have been disappointing if we had withdrawn,' said Gohel.