Botham happy with Ponting-Warne spat

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2010, 17:50 PM IST

New Delhi: Legendary all-rounder Ian Botham "loved every second" of the public spat between Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting as he feels the "turmoil" in the Australian camp has enhanced England`s chances of winning the Ashes next month.

"Oh, yes, I`ve heard all about Warnie and Ricky Ponting and I`m loving every second of it," Botham told a newspaper.

"That is turmoil, and the more turmoil Australia are in, the better it is for us. It`s great when the Aussies start whingeing among themselves.”

"I don`t blame Warnie for what he said and I don`t blame Ricky for his reaction. But something obviously isn`t right down there for it to happen in the first place," Botham added.

Legendary spinner Warne had questioned Ponting`s tactics during the Bangalore Test against India, especially the use of spinner Nathan Hauritz during the match.

Subsequently, reacting to Warne`s comments, an upset Ponting said, "Every field Nathan (Hauritz) had, was as per his request. That`s the field he wants to bowl with, unfortunately it doesn`t appear that Shane would take his time to ask anyone about it; he has his opinion out in the public at the moment. It`s a personal opinion, I guess."

He went on to add, "The thing about international cricket is that different people say different things at different times. We don`t agree with all of them. There is no doubt that we will face some criticism having lost, it would have been nice if he was more informed before making such comments".

Botham said that he could not believe that there were knives thrown at the Australian captain before the start of the Ashes series.

"If someone feels like they`re making a constructive point that he feels is right, he`s entitled to his opinion. Warnie is one of the best cricketers who ever lived, so why shouldn`t he be able to say what he thinks?”

"Whether it`s Ricky Ponting or anyone else, he`s allowed to speak his mind. But then Punter is allowed the right of reply. Like I said, this is all great for England," Botham said.

"What`s going on down there? Keep it going.”

"I think it`s great they`re all squabbling and arguing and telling each other what they should be doing. Someone says let`s do this and someone says, no let`s do that.”

"Someone says we should be going this way and someone else says we should go the other way. It really is brilliant. Keep it up boys, I`m loving it."

The Warne-Ponting disagreement made big news in England for 24 hours. It also portrayed that Australian cricket team is at an all-time low and falling apart.

When Botham was asked if he was confident that England would win their first series in Australia since 1986-87, Botham said, "I`m not worried about England at all."

"There`s not one thing I can come up with that gives me any concern. England are in great shape.”

PTI