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Punter not keen but catch pact grounded

Ricky Ponting confirms that the agreement between him and Anil Kumble wouldn’t come into play any more, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Jan 16, 2008 02:41 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

An illogical agreement between the teams led to a lot of bad blood before it was scrapped. The third Test will see the end of the pact wherein the captains had agreed to go by what the fielders had to say in case of unclear collections or catches. “It’s been scrapped,” said Ricky Ponting. “That wasn’t the way I wanted to play. But the feeling through the Indian team was that they would like it to go back and be in the hands of the umpires on the field. I’ve just had a chat with the umpires out on the ground now about the whole thing and they’ll be endeavouring to make the call between themselves on the field rather than referring everything. That’s the way it's going to be, I think, for the rest of the series.”

Initially reluctant to confirm this, Anil Kumble accepted that the agreement wouldn’t come into play any more after being told that just before him at the pre-match media session, his Australian counterpart had revealed this.

“Yes, certain things are best left to the umpires, third umpire and the msatch referee. As it is, the players and umpires are all under pressure out in the middle, there is no need to burden ourselves with more. I think these things will be best handled with the match referee or the umpires deciding on them,” said Kumble.

Spirit is willing

Ponting said that apart from chasing a world record 17th consecutive win there was just one motivation for his team. “I also think it’s important that the game is played in the right way. There’s been a lot of talk in the media and probably around the public over the last five or six days about the way the game (in Sydney) was played. A lot of that was blown out of proportion. But we realise that the game of cricket is bigger than us and it's up to us to go over the the next two Tests and play the most entertaining cricket that we can.”

Ponting refused to accept that the last week was the toughest for him as captain. “Losing Ashes in 2005 was probably the hardest time, having been the first Aussie captain in a long while to have done so. There are a lot of challenges which comes up if you are a leader of anything.”

No comments on Harbhajan

There had to be a question on Harbhajan and appropriately, it was the last one. But Ponting was completely noncommittal. “My feeling is that the hearing wouldn't be until after the Adelaide game anyway, there would be some time for the hierarchy, to sit back and discuss anything that might hasn't been done so far.”