‘Observation’ not an attack on Ponting: Warne
Melbourne: Spin legend Shane Warne finds it "staggering" that an observation by him was portrayed as an attack on Ricky Ponting whom he still considers the best man to lead the Australian cricket team.
"I find it staggering, but not surprising, how much factually incorrect rubbish I`ve read since I was quietly sitting on my couch last week talking out loud to the TV and answering my followers on twitter. I don`t know why so many people feel the need to exaggerate and sensationalise one sentence. Please, just report the facts," Warne wrote on his website.
Warne had criticised Ponting`s field placings during the Bangalore Test loss to India, inviting a sharp reply from the Australian skipper which led to speculation that the two had fallen out.
For Warne though, there was no such thing as a slanging match as reported by the media.
"My tweet about Ricky`s fields for Nathan Hauritz for 2 overs has been portrayed as a rift between myself and the Australian captain and Journo`s have tried to start a slanging match between us; what rubbish," he said.
"Commentators on the match, cricket journalists and even the Indian captain, MS Dhoni, have agreed with my tweet. It was an observation, not an attack. Never at any stage did I say or imply that Ricky`s time as captain is up," he added.
The leg spin legend said he still considers Ponting to be the best man for Australian captaincy.
"Every captain and spinner has struggled at times to set fields against the Indian batsmen in India. We`ve all been smashed and struggled with getting the right fields.”
"Sometimes as a player, when things are going badly, we can all be a bit sensitive to comments that ex-players or commentators make, I know I have been over the years as well. Yes - Ricky was disappointed with my tweet and expressed his disappointment via SMS to which I replied "should I take you off the Christmas card list?" My philosophy is - never lose your sense of humour in whatever you do," he revealed.
"Ricky, to me, is the right man to lead Australia for the Ashes. it`s a great opportunity for him to show his leadership and captaincy skills. He also looks in super touch with the bat; I am sure he`s going to fill his boots this summer."
Warne suspects that Ponting`s critics are using his comments to have a go at the embattled captain.
"I get a sense that people are after Ricky, they are trying to use my tweet as a camouflage to their own views and hang him; that’s not on," he said.