I overstepped the mark, admits Oz captain Ponting

Melbourne: Australia captain Ricky Ponting said Tuesday he had overstepped the mark with his prolonged argument with the umpires in the fourth Ashes Test that earned him a fine and a censure from the match referee.

Ponting was fined 40 percent of his match fee by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after clashing with the officials over an unsuccessful video review.

With his team struggling on the field against England, Ponting argued with umpire Aleem Dar and then spoke with the other official Tony Hill after Kevin Pietersen was adjudged not to have edged the ball to the wicketkeeper.

The ICC said Ponting pleaded guilty to a charge of “arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision.”

There was a massive reaction to Ponting’s actions from former players, the media and the public on Tuesday and the Australia skipper appeared on national radio to give his account.

“My actions on the field yesterday have caused a massive reaction overnight and I just wanted to get my points across about it,” Ponting told ABC radio.

“I mean I understand that I overstepped the mark yesterday. I was charged with dissent for having a prolonged discussion with the umpires out in the middle.

“Looking back at it last night I realised that it didn’t look good.

“The facts of the matter are that the umpires vouched for me, actually in the meeting last night they said that at no time was I aggressive or show any malice or anything towards them out there, just that the discussion went longer than it should have.

“I understand that, I understand that I set a bad example for other captains out there and youngsters looking up to me as the Australian captain.

“I went into the hearing, I accepted that 40 percent fine pretty much straight away, I pleaded guilty to the charge and now it’s about looking forward and getting on with the rest of the game.”

Ponting said he believed that Pietersen had edged a catch to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin when he was on 49. Pietersen only made two more runs before Peter Siddle trapped him lbw.

“I still in my heart and in my mind believe that he inside-edged that ball,” Ponting said.

“And I think if you look at the replay properly and the way that it needs to be looked out I think everyone will understand that that hotspot (technology video) mark wasn’t a long way away from where the ball passed the bat.

“So yeah, I’ve had a look at it all but at the end of the day that’s irrelevant now, the decision was made and I had to get on with it straight away.”

Ponting said he wanted to clarify with Dar how the third umpire had got to making the decision.

“I understand the judgements that are being made about me out there and a lot of those are because I haven’t scored the runs I’ve needed to score,” he said.

“I understand whatever criticism comes my way at the moment is pretty much warranted.

“I’ve just got to find a way to get myself out of that and look forward to batting in the second innings of this game and putting my hand up and doing the job for the team.”

Match referee Ranjan Madugalle said Ponting’s actions were unacceptable.

“A captain is expected to set the example and not get involved in a prolonged discussion with the on-field umpires and question their decision,” Madugalle said in a statement.

“While pleading guilty to the charge, Ricky understood that the discussion went far too long.”

Bureau Report

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