by Veena Gabriel
Ricky Ponting,the Australian Captain is all set to stir up another controversy by his book “Captain’s Diary 2008″.
The Monkeygate seems to be a potboiler now with Ponting sharing his views in this book. The Bhajji-Symonds row, in the now infamous Sydney Test which was given a racial tone, because Bhajji had supposedly called Symonds monkey but later said he had used a Hindi abuse.
Accoring to Ponting, he was asked to drop the racial charge against Harbhajan that night after he had prepared an onfield report and by none other but a senior member of the Indian team. He has not named this player, but he accuses him of being more concerned of how the events will pan out once such allegation was filed and of the stress involved with a lengthy legal battle that was to ensure.
As per the Australian captain,the senior player was not at bothered whether Bhajji’s was innocent or guilty. Ponting has alleged that once he ignored the call there was an heightened activity in the Indian camp. Poor Ponting – he was determined to get justice done but his efforts were thwarted by the Indians who threatened to pull out of the game.To prevent such drastic action the charges against Bhajji were downgraded.
He was quite afraid of the fact that once he did not change his stand, the Indian side worked overtime to get their senior player out of this mess as it would not look good for Indian side.And his fears came true.
Ponting is also miffed about the fact that monkeygate overshadowed their historic win against India. His frustrations are evident because as per him they were on a roller coaster ride in this match. There were too many savoury and unsavoury incidents going on and off the field.
He remembers being in a dilemma on the last day,whether to declare,or was he being too hasty,convinced that they were going to win,than draw and ultimately after so many highs and lows they won the match.
Anil Kumble’s remark that only one team played with the spirit of the game,obviously he meant the Indians irked Ponting, because Kumble did not mince his words when he clearly said in the press conference afterwards that the Indians like to play hard on the field and expect Australians to do so.
His remarks were greeted with a resounding cheer from the Indian press and no one neither any Indian nor any Australian refuted them. They did not refute them because they were the truth, the whole world had seen what had happened. Australiana are masters of sledging. Anyone who has played with them knows this fact, so when Ponting is cribbing about the downgrading of Bhajji’s charge,he should also try to recall the behaviour of Symonds who is by no standard the epitome of politeness.
It seems the Australians have discovered an easy way to make their literary efforts bestsellers and it is evident they are succeeding in their endeavour.