|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
October 22, 2013
Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, has drawn a firm line underneath the Monkeygate scandal of 2008, stating that he cleared any remaining tension with Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble during his IPL stint with the Mumbai Indians this year.
The Australian release of Ponting's autobiography, At the Close of Play, has exhumed the five-year-old wounds of the affair. Ponting's ire was raised firmly in the direction of Cricket Australia for its compromises and collusion with the BCCI, but there has been some suggestion of lingering enmity between Ponting and the three central Indian players concerned.
Kumble has said it is "important to move on" from events that did not cast any of its characters in a favourable light, while offering the rejoinder that "if you really want to know what happened, you have to wait for my book". For his part, Ponting said his relationship with Tendulkar, Kumble and Harbhajan had been largely rehabilitated by sharing the Mumbai dressing room, pointing out that any real discord would have made his presence in the team untenable.
"I had to captain Harbhajan and Sachin, and Anil was the mentor/coach. They wouldn't have had me there if that (Monkeygate) hadn't passed over," Ponting told ESPNcricinfo. "And Anil hasn't said anything about being angry or anything like that, it's just about moving on and 'wait until my book'.
"I didn't have any problem with them. Sachin was trying to look after his mate and changed his story a couple of times to suit. Harbhajan was the one there was a problem with, but we got to Mumbai, looked each other in the eye and shook hands and said we'll make this work for the next couple of months. That's well and truly gone."
What has not left Ponting is his discontent with how CA failed to support their players in a case that left the victim of abuse, Andrew Symonds, painted as a villain. Duly disillusioned, he drifted from the game via a series of disciplinary problems, a loss Ponting still felt angered by.
"The worst of it all was the impact it had on Symmo (Symonds)," Ponting wrote. "I had tried to protect him from most of what was going on in the lead-up to the hearing, but when it was done I reckon it took the wind out of his sails. In many ways Symmo was gone from this moment on and it still makes me angry."
As maddening for Ponting were the political machinations around the appeal, with India's threat to fly home given far more importance by CA than the defence of one of their own players. While engaged in many meetings during the Adelaide Test match that immediately preceded the appeal hearing in the South Australian capital's Federal Court Building, he was unaware of numerous other events, including the sight of Tendulkar arriving on the morning of the appeal in the company of CA's then chairman, Creagh O'Connor.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
The veteran spinner's dream spell against Australia in 2003 symbolised a brief golden period for Kenya, but since his retirement, the country's cricket has nose-dived
Plays of the Day from the Champions League T20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Perth Scorchers, in Bangalore
Ashwell Prince talks about proving critics wrong, scoring hundreds against Australia, and that unending partnership in Colombo
Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Dolphins and Lahore Lions in Bangalore
The Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Kings XI Punjab and Northern Knights, in Mohali
Cricket should look to not only shore up struggling and emerging cricketing nations but also to export the game with entrepreneurial vigour
West Indies' ODI squad for India is surprisingly light on spin, but the tour is an opportunity for Samuels and Russell to make strong comebacks
Without more fixtures with Full Members, they can't get more funds. Without funds, they can't keep their players
Though derided and sometimes ridiculed, county cricket still holds the key for the future of the game in England and if all involved believed in it just a little more, it could produce an even greater harvest