Monday, January 07, 2008

"There's no way I grounded that ball!"

Said Ponting to an Indian journalist, ""There's no way I grounded that ball. If you're actually questioning my integrity in the game, then you shouldn't be standing there."

What is he talking about? This:

That picture was sent to Prem Panicker by a reader; click on it for Prem's take. (UPDATE: Prem Panicker points out that Rashid Latif was banned for five games in 2003 for the identical offence: falsely claiming a catch that hadn't been taken cleanly. The match referee was the same in both cases: Mike Procter. Sauce, gander, geese?)

(UPDATE: Video showing the ball resting on the ground, with Ponting's hand on top of it, for a full half second or so -- about 00:32 into the video.)

And what of Adam Gilchrist, the "walker" who claims to play fair, yet appealed loudly for his "catch" off Dravid when he was in the best position to see Dravid's bat safely tucked behind his pad?

Martin Williamson says on cricinfo that standing one's ground for an umpire's decision, instead of "walking", is not cheating; but falsely claiming a catch is cheating. Gilchrist, please note. Williamson also quotes Steve Bucknor as saying "The umpire should not depend on someone who is a walker. Otherwise, that same walker may embarrass the umpire." And Bucknor, and his colleague Mark Benson, have been well and truly embarrassed in this test.


  • Ponting and Kumble had a pre-series agreement to take each others' fielders' words for it where catches were concerned.
  • Ponting grossly violated the agreement.
  • Ponting blew his top when an Indian media person challenged him on it, and tried to take the moral high ground.
  • Ponting later made umpire Mark Benson take his word for it when Michael Clarke claimed to catch Sourav Ganguly at a crucial stage in the second innings.

It is far worse than what Rashid Latif did. But both the ICC and the BCCI already have zero credibility; I predict Ponting will face no consequences and the BCCI will do nothing to take up the matter -- after all, they want Aussies to play in the lucrative IPL.


Anonymous said...

in the pic, its highly reasonable to conjecture that Ponting's pinky and ring finger might be beneath the ball, causing him to believe at that moment that he had actually caught the ball, as I mentioned at TR's.

Rahul Siddharthan said...

robby - I don't think his pinky or ring finger could have been under the ball unless they were broken, but I agree with the cognitive dissonance comment you made on TR's blog -- it is just possible that Ponting genuinely thought (or persuaded himself) that it was "clean". But I don't see how he could have been that certain: he didn't even look at the umpire. And if he is capable of such cognitive dissonance, he shouldn't have made such an agreement with Kumble.

And the umpire, Mark Benson, should not have taken his word for it. Benson was not sure, and did not ask Bucknor or the third umpire; if he believed there was a doubt that those umpires wouldn't be able to resolve, he should have ruled the batsman not out.

Also, here is a video of the Rashid Latif incident. That is certainly much more blatant and leaves no room whatever for doubt.

Tabula Rasa said...

ponting slid the ball along the ground for six inches as he landed with it. if his fingers were under it when he landed, he'd have had to rush straight to hospital.