Beamers are not intentional - Ponting
Accusations that Brett Lee is delivering intentional beam balls are "rubbish", according to Ricky Ponting. Lee has received fierce criticism since bowling a waist-high full-toss to Brendon McCullum on Saturday, with John Bracewell suggesting it was the fourth he had sent to New Zealand's batsmen this summer.
However, Ponting claimed there had been an over-reaction and the wet surface had contributed to the loose ball, which hit McCullum on the hand as he shied away. Bracewell said it was the second similar delivery McCullum had received from Lee while others were directed at Chris Harris and Paul Wiseman. "If you're singling him out as the only one who's done it on more than one occasion that's a load of rubbish," Ponting said. "Abdul Razzaq hit him with two in one over [during the tri-series finals] and Lee actually received one in the first game, if memory serves correctly, on this tour."
Peter Roebuck, the former Somerset batsman and Sydney Morning Herald columnist, called for Lee to be dropped for the remainder of the tour. "[It] was merely the latest in a series of violent deliveries sent down by a pace bowler at best reckless in his approach and at worst utterly unwilling to remain within long-accepted parameters governing conduct on the cricket field," Roebuck wrote.
Ponting said there was a small margin for error for bowlers delivering balls at 150kmh. "Sure it's happened a few times of late," he said. "It's the last thing I want to see and I know as far as Brett's concerned it's the last thing he wants to happen as well."
Lee will bowl alongside McGrath, Gillespie and Kasprowicz after Australia named a formidable pace line-up for the fourth one-day match at Wellington's Basin Reserve tomorrow. Ponting has decided to rest from the game with a slight thigh strain and Adam Gilchrist will be captain. James Hopes, the Queensland allrounder, has been called up for his one-day international debut while Brad Hogg will be 12th man.
Australia 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt, wk), 2 Simon Katich, 3 Damien Martyn, 4 Andrew Symonds, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Mike Hussey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Jason Gillespie, 10 Michael Kasprowicz, 11 Glenn McGrath, 12 Brad Hogg.