Ricky Ponting talks tough on ball-tampering scandal but backs Australian dressing room culture

Ricky Ponting, said talk of an over aggressive attitude in the Australian dressing room had been blown out of proportion following bans imposed on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

AFP, Apr 05, 2018 20:46:46 IST

New Delhi: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Thursday he was shocked by the ball-tampering scandal that has engulfed the national team but defended a culture he insisted sought to play "hard" and "fair".

Australian cricket player Ricky Ponting speaks during a news conference in Sydney. Reuters

File image of Ricky Ponting. Reuters

Ponting, coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Delhi Daredevils, said talk of an over aggressive attitude in the Australian dressing room had been blown out of proportion following bans imposed on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

"This is the first time I have actually answered a single question about what's happened in South Africa over the last couple of weeks," Ponting, Australia's Test captain from 2004-2008, told reporters in New Delhi ahead of the start of the IPL season.

"At the end of the day as a past player and as a former captain I was obviously quite shocked to see what actually took place out there on the field.

"The pleasing thing to me is that all this issue is starting to come to an end," he said, referring to Smith and Warner's acceptance of one year bans.

Both have given tearful apologies for plotting to tamper with the ball in the third Test in South Africa last month. Bancroft was filmed using sandpaper to scuff the ball in Cape Town.

On top of the player bans, current coach Darren Lehmann has quit even though he was cleared of any involvement.

While an overhaul of Australian cricket is likely, Ponting defended their cricketing culture, saying the team have always played hard and fair. Australia twice won the World Cup when he was playing.

"We in Australia like to play the game hard and we like to play the game fair and our fans expect Australian players play that way," said Ponting.

"I think the reaction back in Australia was as big as it was because I think the Australian public felt the Australian players hadn't played the game in a fair way.

"The cultural issue for me is what is a really interesting thing. Because when you wound the clock back just a couple of months when Australia won the Ashes there was no talk about cultural problems or issues whatsoever.

"So I think a lot of times these cultural things get blown out of proportion and get spoken about a lot when the reality of the dressing room is completely different from what is actually spoken about all the time," he said.

Updated Date: Apr 05, 2018 20:46:46 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 5 4 1 0 8
New Zealand 4 3 0 1 7
England 4 3 1 0 6
India 3 2 0 1 5
Sri Lanka 5 1 2 2 4
West Indies 4 1 2 1 3
South Africa 5 1 3 1 3
Bangladesh 4 1 2 1 3
Pakistan 4 1 2 1 3
Afghanistan 4 0 4 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254