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'Farcical end took gloss off WC triumph'

cricket Updated: May 03, 2007 14:15 IST

PTI
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Australian captain Ricky Ponting on Wednesday admitted that the farcical finish to the cricket World Cup took a bit of the gloss off his side's third consecutive triumph.

Australia's win in the final against Sri Lanka was marred by some poor officiating.

With the Sri Lankan batsmen accepting an offer for bad light, the Australian team started celebrating their victory before the umpires incorrectly said the match was not over and made them complete the last three overs in near darkness.

"We were running around like lunatics thinking we'd won, when (umpire) Aleem Dar came over and told me, 'well no, actually the game wasn't over yet'," Ponting told Sydney Morning Herald on his return from the Caribbean.

"To be honest, I really thought he was joking," Ponting continued. "We get on pretty well, Aleem and I, and we like to have a joke now and then, but I thought this particular one was extremely poorly timed," he said.

"I'd actually planned the bowling so that Glenn McGrath could bowl the last over of the match and his career, so I guess we were denied that opportunity as well," Ponting said.

"I think they've learned their lessons there and I am sure next time they officiate in big games like that they'll know the rules inside out." Ponting and his team-mates were welcomed by a small group of family and friends and a sizeable media contingent at the airport.

The skipper said the team had celebrated long and hard since claiming the World Cup for a third straight time.

"I am feeling more refreshed than I was two days ago, that is for sure," he said.