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‘Aussie behaviour tarnishing cricket’

Darwin: Australia’s behaviour is tarnishing cricket and needs to improve, Test vice-captain Ricky Ponting said on Wednesday ahead of the series with Bangladesh later this week.

World Cup-winning skipper Ponting said the game’s top-ranked team would be anxious to avoid any heated verbal exchanges during the two-Test series that starts in Darwin on Friday.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland and team coach John Buchanan were both critical of Australia’s behaviour in the fourth Test against West Indies in Antigua in May.

Glenn McGrath was involved in a fiery finger-pointing exchange with batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and West Indies captain Brian Lara had angry verbal exchanges with several Australian players during the fourth Test.

“There are things that happen on the field that we are not happy with all the time,” Ponting said on Wednesday. “Obviously, the last tour was tarnished by one of those incidents. But we’ve spoken about it and we speak about it before every series and every tour that we go on.

“Let’s just hope that those things don’t pop up again this time.”

Sutherland telephoned Australian captain Steve Waugh during the Antigua Test to remind him of the team’s responsibilities as ambassadors for world cricket.

“I’m disappointed in what I saw on television this morning,” Sutherland said at the time.

Buchanan added last week: “The players concerned let their team down and they let themselves down. They lose respect and teammates are distracted.”

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