Joined: 20 November 2006
Ricky Ponting | January 08, 2008
EVERYONE in the Australian team knows how important the spirit of cricket is to the way we play the game.Under Steve Waugh's captaincy we signed a collective pledge to uphold and enhance that spirit.
And since I took over from Steve I have taken it on myself to personally ensure that each new member of the team is fully aware of his responsibilities to the game.
In the spirit of playing hard but fair cricket, anyone who knows me and the way I play will be aware I do not make a point of running to umpires and making complaints.
That is why I was particularly disappointed to hear television commentators suggest during the Test that I was a "dobber" who had opened a "pandora's box" for making a report of what I believed was racial abuse towards Andrew Symonds.
Over the past two years match referees have made it clear at the start of every series that it is the captain's responsibility to immediately report any form of racism from either the crowd or on the field.
When I heard what had taken place with Andrew I immediately informed the umpires and then left the field at the end of the over to inform our team manager, which is what we are instructed to do.
There is absolutely no place for racism in sport or in society generally and I fully support the International Cricket Council's anti-racism policy. All our players are very aware of their responsibility.
Making this report is not something I wanted to do but something I had to do.
I had nothing to gain personally from taking this action. I was doing the right thing by the game.
I hope that what I have done will enhance the game in the future and also be an example to the wider community when it comes to dealing with the difficult issue of racism.
It is a shame that this issue has come to dominate the Test because from my point of view I believe that overall both the Melbourne and Sydney Tests were played in terrific spirit. This is not something we take lightly so it is surprising and disappointing to hear Anil Kumble suggest that we did not play within that spirit in Sydney.
I believe that as a general rule both teams have got on really well. There was talk in the dressing room of some of the banter that went on out in the middle and some of it was quite funny from both sides.
I like Anil as a bloke and admire him as a cricketer and now captain. I have always felt he played his cricket in the right way, hard but fair. And I believe that is what we do, too.
Anil and I came to an agreement before the series about how catches should be judged.
At the usual match referee's meeting at the start of the series Mike Procter said that all catches which were uncertain would be referred to the third umpire by the on-field umpires. I have never liked this because I believe technology is not good enough to judge low catches in particular, and I think that is obvious at some stage in just about every Test.
Instead I have always preferred an agreement where the batting side takes the word of the fielding side. So Anil and I decided that we would ask our fielders if they were 100 per cent satisfied they had taken a catch if it was not obvious.
This happened twice when we were fielding. In the first innings I took a low catch off Rahul Dravid but wasn't satisfied it carried so I told the umpire immediately.
In the second innings Michael Clarke took a low catch off Sourav Ganguly. I went to him and asked if he was 100 per cent sure he had caught it. He said yes, so I relayed that to the umpires.
It appears that Ganguly wasn't fully aware of the agreement I had with Anil because if he was he would probably have left the field straight away.
Cricket can be a game of great emotion, as we saw with the dramatic end to the Sydney Test, and there are times when the boundaries of the spirit are pushed.
It's my job as captain to make sure everyone stays within those boundaries and I am satisfied we have, not only in this Test and series but in recent years.
I think that is obvious by how few times any of our players have been reported and been forced to attend disciplinary hearings in front of match referees.
We want to keep it that way and we are looking forward to the rest of the series.
In the end we're all cricketers who love the game and love to play it at the highest level against the best opponents. That is why we enjoy playing against India so much.
Now I want to ask you all where is the integrity of this person..does he have a conscience at all..he is not referring to any of the wrong umpiring but blowing his own trumpet about disowning that rahul dravid catch....why Mr Ponting....will u win all your remaining matches in future using that weapon that once upon atime i told the truth....sheer,utter nonsense....i would call this game of yours gully cricket.
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but its true though..australia didn't have anything that he said in that interview..they did not have a fair game!!..and india is the one suffering for it!..
Joined: 28 July 2007
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