Australia v India, VB Series, 2nd final, Sydney February 9, 2004

Ganguly defuses sledging situation

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Sourav Ganguly wasn't overjoyed at the welcome he was accorded

Sourav Ganguly acted swiftly to suppress a situation that had potential to boil over into an ugly on-field confrontation. When he walked out to bat in the second final of the VB Series, Ganguly was the subject of abuse from one of the Australian players. He quickly approached Ricky Ponting and had a few words.

"He actually mentioned to me that one of our players had said something to him as he was coming out onto the field," said Ponting after the game, without going into further detail. The Daily Telegraph of Sydney reported that Ganguly said it was Brad Williams who had been the culprit.

Ganguly himself played down the issue. "There was a reason for it, which I don't want to make public. It [the sledging] happened from the time I walked out of the gate until I reached the stumps. "I'm not upset. I just told him (Ponting) I don't want to start it all over again. I told him I don't want to blow it out of proportion."

But, it was not as though the Indians were blameless. Irfan Pathan has been reprimanded by Clive Lloyd, the match referee, for a Level 1 offense. His over the top celebrations when he got the wicket of Damien Martyn attracted the attention of the on-field umpires and the third umpire. Although the Australian team did not comment on the incident, Ganguly said jocularly, "I keep telling my boys that everytime they get aggressive, my match fees get deducted. I keep telling them to be careful because at this rate I might land up with no money after this tour."