February 19, 2011

World Cup 2011

Ponting's latest woe: sleep deprivation

Brydon Coverdale
Ricky Ponting puts on his helmet during a net session, Ahmedabad, World Cup 2011, February 19, 2011
Ricky Ponting may have been struggling to keep his eyes open through Ausatralia's net session on Saturday  © Getty Images
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Ricky Ponting could have been forgiven for sleeping in a little on Saturday morning, but still managed to be on time for Australia’s 10am training session. It had been a late night for the Australia captain, who flew back from the opening ceremony in Dhaka on Friday, only to be told his connecting flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad was delayed by two-and-a-half hours.

By the time he finally reached Ahmedabad after 11pm, a tired-looking Ponting was wearing an expression that put Australia's original Captain Grumpy, Allan Border, to shame. Still, he was willing to pose for some photos with fans while waiting for his luggage to arrive, although the smile wasn’t exactly convincing.

And, as if to highlight the gulf between the two sides, his opposing captain for their opening match, Zimbabwe’s Elton Chigumbura, was standing not a few metres away, but was recognised by barely a soul. No photo requests, no autograph hunters, and a smooth path out of the airport. And Chigumbura got a healthy sleep-in the next day – Zimbabwe didn’t hit the nets at Motera until 2pm.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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