'We were not trying to embarrass them' November 8, 2006

Ponting offers to apologise 'if we feel that it's relevant'



The Indian public have shown their displeasure at the Australians' conduct © Getty Images
Ricky Ponting has offered to apologise to any Indian officials who felt insulted by his team's victory celebrations after the Champions Trophy final at the weekend. Ponting said the Australians intended no offence and admitted the flak they had received for allegedly manhandling Sharad Pawar, the Indian board's president, off the presentation stage had marred their first successful Champions Trophy campaign.

"It probably has had a little bit of the gloss taken off, but I'll be doing the best I can to get my point across to the concerned people in India and let them know we were not trying to embarrass them or anything like that," Ponting admitted. "We were all pretty keen to get our hands on the trophy and celebrate accordingly."

Ponting said he was aware the Australian cricketers were representing their country and promised they would be more aware of protocol in future. Asked if he would apologise to Pawar, he said: "If we all feel that it's relevant then I'll certainly do that ... I'll decide once I've spoken to him (Pawar) and got a bit of an idea about how he's taken the whole thing, and not just listen to what's been said by the Indian journalists and what a fuss they're making of it."

James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, attributed the Australians' antics to exuberance at winning the only major trophy that had eluded them, and said no slight was intended. "Perhaps sometimes these things can happen between different cultures," he said, adding that he would speak with Martyn about the incident.

Asked if any Australian players deserved a reprimand, Sutherland said he wanted to examine the circumstances of the presentation.