Ricky Ponting's rant about England's alleged lack of respect for the spirit of the game rings hollow because Australia is the team which violates it most, said Ashes winning coach Duncan Fletcher.
Writing in 'The Guardian,' the Zimbabwe-born Fletcher, who guided England to 2005 Ashes victory, said Ponting's homily on spirit of the game was a manifestation of his frustration after Australia failed to separate the last English pair in the first Ashes Test and settled for a draw.
"England will be delighted they left Cardiff with a draw – and no doubt amused that they head for Lord's with a lecture about the spirit of the game from Ricky Ponting, of all people, still ringing in their ears," Fletcher wrote.
"If any side in the world doesn't play within the spirit of the game it's Ponting's Australians, yet in London he is sitting in judgment on England because he's frustrated that his bowlers failed to complete the job," he said.
James Anderson and Monty Panesar batted out the last 40 minutes, during which England twice sent in physio Stev McCaig and 12th man Bilal Shafayat in an obvious attempt to waste time, much to Ponting's exasperation.
Fletcher said he did not condone what England did even if it was not really illegal.