February 22, 2011

World Cup 2011

Ponting’s a smash hit – or not

Jayaditya Gupta

A lazy run, an avoidable run-out, an angry captain and a dressing-room outburst. Those are the undisputed facts surrounding Ricky Ponting’s reaction to his dismissal by Chris Mpofu on Monday, which has blown into the sort of controversy Australia can do without. Ponting, in his first full international innings since sustaining a finger injury, appeared agitated and was seen talking angrily to himself as he walked back to the dressing room. That’s the point from when reports differ. Australian team officials say once there he threw some of his gear at his bag, it bounced off and hit the back of the TV, which stopped working for a while. "The screen did not smash, the TV did not leave the table,” said team spokesman Lachy Patterson. “A small area of the screen had loss of picture. We apologised and went straight to the team manager and asked him the screen should be replaced which he immediately did. The issue is now closed."

Not according to the Gujarat Cricket Association, whose secretary, Rajesh Patel, said it would take up the matter with the BCCI and the ICC. "This not fair on the part of the Australian team," Patel was quoted by PTI as saying, adding that the television set – which he said was “smashed” - was worth over Rs 35,000 ($770).

Both sides seem to agree that there was no bat involved – so at least there’s no need for a TV replay.

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Jayaditya Gupta is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo in India

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