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Any India pull out of tour not right: Ponting

cricket Updated: Jan 08, 2008 04:07 IST
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Australia captain Ricky Ponting has dismissed the racial taunt furore in the Sydney Test as "one little incident" and felt that any pullout of the current tour by India would not be the "right reaction".

Ponting also said he was surprised by the speculation that India's tour might be cancelled and that they had not sent their players to Canberra, the next stop of the tour.

"They are entitled to do whatever they think is appropriate at the time but for me that would be a little extreme. I must admit," Ponting told Channel Nine.

He declined to reveal what was said between off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and Aussie all-rounder Andrew Symonds in the field but offered a blunt response when asked if the situation smacks of racism. "I think that has been proven," he said.

Ponting, who was speaking before India filed a complaint against Brad Hogg for abusing one of the players, was baffled by the widespread criticism of his team.

"It's disappointing and they are entitled to their opinion, but if you look back at the game I really can't see how we have done anything wrong by the spirit of the game.

Ponting said the flashpoint issues pertaining to the spirit of the game alluded to by Captain Anil Kumble related to contentious catches. He agreed that the "tainted" Sydney Test has left a "sour taste" in the mouth of some Indian players but warned pulling out of the tour might jeopardise cricketing ties between the two countries.

"...I think it is important for all of us to look past that and realise that both India and Australia have got and have had tremendous relations through a hundred years of Test cricket and you wouldn't like to think that one little incident like this would bring undone all the great work that has been done over a long period of time," he said.

"I think the whole (Test) has been tainted a little bit by some of the events during and then after the game. Otherwise I think this actual game and the first Test in Melbourne, apart from the one issue which everyone knows about right at the moment, was played in very, very good spirits," he said.

"Sure there has been something else in the background that has happened in this last Test that has put a sour taste in a couple of the Indian team's mouths," he said.

"There is one incident that has come out of these first two Tests and it doesn't involve the Australians," he said. Ponting believed contentious catches were at the centre of the controversy and said he was no fan of the referral system.

"Contentious catches has always been a thorn in my side, if you like, with the referral to the third umpire. I, for the last five years or since I have been captain of the Test team, have been trying to get that taken out of the game because I really think it is a blight on the game.