| Ricky Ponting |
Melbourne: Ricky Ponting on Thursday made it clear that the Aussies are disappointed with the outcome in the Harbhajan Singh case. The Australian captain was speaking during a press conference on the eve of the Twenty20 clash.
The following are excerpts
On his fitness
Injured my back last week in Adelaide and been pretty much flat on my back for the last couple of days. Im trying to give myself the best chance to recover. Once the rest of the guys arrive and the physio is in Melbourne, hes gonna give me a pretty good look and see how I am…
On India having the upper hand over Australia in Twenty20
Yeah… well, as we know India had the upper hand over everybody in the World Cup. They played some excellent cricket throughout. Maybe for us there are some scores to settle…
On being upset about Justice Hansens decision
The judge has made it pretty clear that even he was a bit disappointed with the severity or non severity of his findings… Partially because he wasnt handed some pretty vital and important information that he felt might have made things a bit more severe on Harbhajan… But for us thats completely out of control.
On whether the banter will go on
In most international sports at the highest level there is generally a bit of chit-chat between the players on the ground… And I think there has been a lot spoken about that.
On the severity of Harbhajans punishment being scaled down despite stump mike transcripts being used
We would have thought that it would be a fairly important piece of evidence going into the hearing, but once again… Im sure that Cricket Australia will reach the bottom of that. Its not up to me or up to the players… The case is closed and it cant even be reopened. But all of us along the way have learnt a lot about the whole process.
On the penalty meted out to Harbhajan
Look Ive made it pretty clear to everybody that it wasnt about the verdict, wasnt about what the penalty was going to be… It was about having an appropriate outcome. Let justice run its natural course. So whether he got one match or 50 per cent didnt really matter too much… It looks as if he may have received a more severe punishment if things had gone the way it was supposed to…
On if Australias approach will change
Not at all… Thats the way we always play our cricket and well continue to until something like this happens again… We are uncompromising and we play it hard. At the same time we play it fair. Never before has it happened that a captain has left the field to tell his manager that something that has happened on the field. So that should tell everybody how severe it was…
On how Andrew Symonds has taken it
Anyone who knows Symonds knows that hes a pretty genuine, very honest sort of person… Ill have to be pretty careful of what I say… I really cant talk about the specifics… Any sort of character assassination on Symonds as a result of this would be completely unfair. He is a terrific bloke, very honest bloke and a great teammate.
On how much it has affected Symonds
Right through this season he has had a fairly amazing run. Even when some things have gone against him he has been able to play his best cricket. But theres no doubt that the controversy has taken a toll on him… It has taken a toll on me in the last few weeks as well… We are sort of dealing with stuff about things in the middle of games that we wouldnt want to be dealing about or thinking about…
[Later in an interview to a TV channel, Ponting said losing the Ashes in 2005 was the most difficult moment in his career. But for non-cricketing reasons, it was the acrimonious Sydney Test. Well yes, it was probably the toughest test, but not for cricketing reasons.
Ponting said both he and Symonds worked in the greater interest of the game during the re-hearing. It was a decision of both me and Andrew, along with Cricket Australia, to try and find a middle way. A lot of allegations had been made from both sides but we had the larger picture in mind. We worked in the greater interest of the game.]
On CAs role
Look once again I cant comment on how much weight certain peoples evidence was given… CA and James Sutherland have made it pretty clear that we are disappointed with the outcome… A few players in the Aussie dressing room will be pretty disappointed with the outcome as well…
On the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid
Look they are both excellent players and theres no doubt about that… Souravs scored the second most number of ODI hundreds, and so that would tell you how good a player he has been. I dont know whos going to come into his exact role, but he was an excellent one-day opener…