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August 28, 2005
Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich will both appear before match referee Ranjan Madugalle on Sunday to answer charges relating to their conduct during the fourth Ashes Test against England at Trent Bridge.
England won by three wickets with more than a day to spare on Sunday in a dramatic finish to take a 2-1 lead in the five-Test series. And Ponting knew before play began Sunday that he was up before Madugalle for his angry reaction to being run-out the day before.
Katich subsequently found himself facing the possibility of disciplinary action having allegedly shown dissent after being given out Sunday lbw for 59 by Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar. Replays suggested that fast bowler Steve Harmison's wicket-taking delivery had pitched outside left-hander Katich's leg-stump and that the ball would have also gone over the top of the stumps.
Asked after England's nailbiting win if he feared missing next month's fifth and final Test at The Oval, where Australia must win to retain the Ashes they've held eight successive series, Ponting replied. "I will be disappointed if I miss the last Test match. Now I have just got to sit down and have a talk with the referee."
Ponting was run out by substitute Gary Pratt's direct hit for 48. Pratt was replacing fast bowler Simon Jones, who was off the field with a right ankle injury that prevented him taking the field on Sunday.
Throughout the series Australia have been concerned by England's use of substitute fielders which they believe are a way of giving the home side's quick bowlers a rest. And Ponting said Sunday: "They [the officials] talk about policing but nothing's happening."
As he waited for the third umpire decision Saturday, Ponting sounded off and also talked to Dar. And when he walked up the pavilion steps Ponting appeared to let fly with some angry words in the direction of the England dressing room. After stumps on Saturday, Ponting released a statement apologising for his conduct but he could still be on the receiving end of a punishment from former Sri Lanka captain Madugalle.
"I was disappointed with my dismissal given that it was a crucial stage of the game and I'd worked hard to get to that position," Ponting said in his statement. "I let myself down with my reaction and for that I apologise to those who see me as a role model. My frustration at getting out was compounded by the fact that I was run out by a substitute fielder, an issue that has concerned us from the start of this series and one we raised before the series."
Substitutes are only generally allowed if players are ill or injured. However, according to the Laws of Cricket, it is the umpires alone who have the responsibility for letting substitutes take the field and the opposing captain has no right of appeal.
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