Ricky Ponting believes Australia's on-field behaviour is improving despite the sledging allegations against Shane Warne, but he wants the tone to rise against England. Ponting said yesterday he expected to talk to Warne, who is currently playing for Hampshire, about the events leading to Chris Adams, the Sussex captain, complaining that he had lost respect for Warne.
Ponting said Warne's antics had not been a problem during his captaincy and all the players had made a point of cleaning up their acts. "If you look back at what the team has been able to do over the last couple of years, we have really been able to change the perception," Ponting told the Herald Sun. "Certainly in the public's eyes but, more importantly, everyone we speak to involved in the game has been really impressed with what we have been able to do with our on-field attitudes."
James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, was also considering calling Warne, who was exposed for sledging Ronnie Irani last season, after Adams said he was trying to "humiliate young players". Warne said he was responding to Matt Prior's "chesting" of Simon Katich during last weekend's County Championship match at Hove. "I thought cricket was a non-contact sport," he wrote in his Times column. "I was sticking up for my mate and letting Prior know what I thought about his behaviour."
Ponting said he wanted to find out what had happened from Warne and Katich. "Then we can make better judgements," he said.