India in Australia, 2007-08 January 7, 2008

Ponting must be sacked

ESPNcricinfo staff

Peter Roebuck, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, has called upon Cricket Australia to remove Ricky Ponting from captaincy following the controversial Sydney Test.

If Cricket Australia cares a fig for the tattered reputation of our national team in our national sport, it will not for a moment longer tolerate the sort of arrogant and abrasive conduct seen from the captain and his senior players over the past few days. Beyond comparison it was the ugliest performance put up by an Australian side for 20 years.

Roebuck also didn't spare Michael Clarke, who is being groomed as Ponting's successor.

Michael Clarke also had a dreadful match but he is a young man and has time to rethink his outlook. That his mind was in disarray could be told from his batting. In the first innings he offered no shot to a straight ball and in the second he remained at the crease after giving an easy catch to slip. On this evidence Clarke cannot be promoted to the vice-captaincy of his country.
The response to the story is here.

Greg Baum, writing in the Age, calls for an end to the petulance.

Most of the offences that soured an otherwise fine Test match were petty. The exception was the charge and counter-charge of racism. Blatant dissent. Frivolous appealing. Refusing to walk when caught at slip. Refusing to walk when caught anywhere. Petulant and cynical slowing of the over rate. These would be frowned on in junior cricket. These ARE frowned on in junior cricket.

Robert Craddock, writing in the Courier-Mail, says the ICC faces one of the biggest days in its history.

India's threat to boycott the Australian tour has come down to a battle of who runs cricket - India or the ICC ... If the ICC feel Harbhajan was worth suspending they must not crumble in the face of a subcontinental blackmail from the world's most powerful cricket nation.

Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo