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Ponting lashes out, says give us a break

Australian captain said his side was "not even ready to play a Test match", let alone giving their best against B'desh in the recently concluded Test series.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2006 11:30 IST

Launching a scathing attack on cricket administrators for not giving consideration to the issue of player fatigue while deciding international schedules, Australian captain Ricky Ponting said his side was "not even ready to play a Test match", let alone giving it their best in the recently concluded two-Test series against Bangladesh.

"We just didn't have a break. Two days between most Test matches that we've just played is not nearly enough. I think we just saw the effects of that (on) day one in Dhaka," Ponting was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

"We had guys who, if we were fair dinkum, probably shouldn't have played. Shouldn't have taken the field because they were just totally exhausted and fatigued. We certainly do have to have a look at the amount of time between Tests," the Australian captain added.

The World Champions, who were tested by the minnows on the first two days of the first Test before coming back to take the series 2-0, had come here straight after playing back-to-back home and away series against South Africa and Ponting said his fatigued side was in no shape to carry on.

"I think we've played five in five weeks, in pretty extreme conditions. That, as far as I'm concerned, is not acceptable," Ponting said.

Ponting said he was glad that Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland was there in Bangladesh to see for himself what the players went through in the trying conditions and hoped that the board officials would now be better aware of the mental and physical strain caused to the players due to successive tournaments.

"For the last few years now, we've basically been demanding more days -- three days -- between Test matches. One day might not sound a lot, but coming here, if we had one more day before the first Test, we would have been a lot better off for it."

"The good thing was that we had James Sutherland and a few of the board directors in Dhaka at the start of that game so they would know first-hand. I think that would have made them more alert to it. For them to be there and see it with their own eyes is better than hearing it second-hand," he added.

First Published: Apr 21, 2006 11:20 IST