Former test captain Ricky Ponting has spoken out against the widespread criticism of Australia’s cricket culture in the aftermath of last month’s ball-tampering scandal during the test match against South Africa.
Punishments were swiftly allocated to those involved in the scandal, with Cricket Australia banning Steve Smith and David Warner for 12 months and a nine-month ban for Cameron Bancroft, but there still seems to be lingering chatter about negative culture bred in Australian cricket, according to the cricket legend.
“The cultural issue for me is really an interesting thing … because if we wind the clock back just a couple of months, when Australia won the Ashes like they did, there was no talk about cultural problems or issues whatsoever,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“I honestly feel on this occasion the cultural stuff that’s been spoken about has probably been blown out of proportion to a certain degree.”
Ponting implied that it’s important to hold those who play the game with ill-intent accountable for their actions, but also just as important to not get carried away and exaggerate the wider situation in the locker room.
“As Australians, we like to play the game hard, we like to play the game fair. Fans expect the Australian player to play that way,” he explained.
“I think the reaction back in Australia was as big as it was because the Australian public felt the Australian players had not played the game in a fair way.”
The Delhi Daredevils’ new coach believes these next few weeks will be important for the Australian Cricket squad, saying that with the controversy dying down, they have some time to regroup and move forward.
“Now that the Test series is over, the guys have got a few weeks to get away from it all and then start rebuilding what has sort of collapsed for them over the last couple of weeks.”