Ponting's apology claim stuns New Zealand
The bails may have been dislodged four days ago, but the controversy continues to rage unabated. The New Zealand camp was left bemused on Wednesday when Ricky Ponting claimed Daniel Vettori had apologised to Brad Haddin via text message for his comments regarding the controversial dismissal of Neil Broom in the first ODI on Sunday.
Replays suggested Haddin's gloves had broken the stumps, and Vettori made clear his displeasure after the game by stating the wicketkeeper "should have made some noise about it" before the umpire, Bruce Oxenford, ruled Broom bowled to Michael Clarke. Ponting attempted to downplay the incident on Wednesday by telling reporters in Melbourne that Haddin "got an apology via text message from Daniel", but the captain may have succeeded only in fanning the flames.
Vettori and his team-mates were stunned to learn of Ponting's comments, adamant that no apology had been offered. "We've agreed both sides have a different version of events," the New Zealand team manager Lindsay Crocker told NZPA. "We should put the matter behind us and it was nothing personal."
Meanwhile, Brian McKechnie, the New Zealand No. 10 who was the recipient of Trevor Chappell's infamous underarm delivery in 1980-81, said Haddin's bullish stance had done little to quell the controversy. "I don't think that helped anyone," McKechnie said. "He would have been better off saying that, upon reflection, the replays were not so clear-cut and the whole thing would have ended there.
"The best thing here is that New Zealand won the game. If the result had gone the other way, I think this could have been a much bigger incident."
Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo