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'Rude and arrogant' Aussies draw ire

Australia's world-beating cricketers were described as "rude and arrogant" by the Indian media following unsavoury incidents after their Champions Trophy win.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 19:54 IST

Australia's world-beating cricketers were described as "rude and arrogant" by the Indian media following unsavoury incidents after their Champions Trophy win.

Ricky Ponting's men were taken to task for pushing Indian cricket chief Sharad Pawar off the presentation dais after Australia's eight-wicket win over the West Indies in Sunday's final in Mumbai.

Ponting, visibly impatient after the long presentation ceremony, gestured towards Pawar with his forefinger, asking him to quickly give away the trophy which Australia had won for the first time in five editions.

Newspapers on Tuesday front-paged pictures of Australian batsman Damien Martyn pushing Pawar with his right hand, urging him to get off the stage so that the team could pose with the trophy.

The picture in a newspaper came under the headline: "This is how champions behave when they get the trophy."

Another newspaper added: "They are supposed to be aggressive, even rude on the field. On Sunday, Australia showed they are not exactly polite off it too."

Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar, who usually prefers to stay silent on most controversial matters, also took a swipe at the Aussies.

"I was not watching the proceedings but from what I heard, it was unpleasant and uncalled for," Tendulkar was quoted as saying at a sponsors' function in Mumbai.

"Firstly, it should never have happened. It's important to show respect to a person who is so dear to the cricketers and is involved with cricket.

"Such incidents should be avoided."

India's chief cricket selector Dilip Vengsarkar added: "You expect such behaviour from uneducated people. If they wanted to pose for photographs, they could have politely requested him.

"This is appalling."

Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah described the incident as "unintentional," but added: "Anyway, you know how players are once they get on the cricket field. They seem to leave good sense behind."

Pawar, a political heavyweight and federal agriculture minister, laughed off the incident.

"It was a small thing, a stupid thing," Pawar was quoted as saying. "I don't want to react."

The Australians left for home on Monday to prepare for the Ashes Tests against England, starting November 23.