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Cricket Australia chief backs Ponting

CA chief James Sutherland backs under-fire skipper Ricky Ponting, saying it has "always been the Australian way to play the game of cricket hard but fair".

cricket Updated: Jan 08, 2008 15:34 IST

Cricket Australia (CA) chief James Sutherland has thrown his weight behind under-fire skipper Ricky Ponting, saying he played the game in the right spirit during the controversial second Test against India in Sydney.

Sutherland said it has "always been the Australian way to play the game of cricket hard but fair".

"Cricket Australia supports the Australian team in its endeavours to play the game as best as they possibly can. Tough and uncompromising is certainly the way in which all Australian teams have played, no matter who has been the captain. And this team under Ricky Ponting is no exception."

Sutherland said despite the controversies, the Sydney Test, which Australia won by 122 runs to stretch their unbeaten run to 16. Should be remembered for the "fantastic cricket that was played".

"We obviously saw an absolutely fantastic game of cricket over the last five days and unfortunately there's been a number of issues during the course of the match that have taken a little bit of the gloss off what was some outstanding performances by individual players and the two teams involved," Sutherland said.

Sutherland said despite the furore over umpiring and the ban on Harbhajan Singh for allegdly racially abusing Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds, he was confident that the Indians will not pull out of the tour and he was in touch with BCCI President Sharad Pawar on the matter.

"I do note ... His recognition of the outstanding relations between the two cricket playing nations, India and Australia, and the need for us to celebrate a great Test match and to look forward," Sutherland said.