CA chairman Clarke defends Ponting, Hilditch

January 3rd, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jan 3 (ANI): Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke has said that chief selector Andrew Hilditch and captain Ricky Ponting have been unfairly criticised.

Clarke chose to draw on Australias past success as World Cup winners and Test crickets top ranking in his attempt to defend Hilditch and Ponting, whose field settings and bowling tactics have been questioned, The Herald Sun reported.

Both men have been crucial to the Australian mens teams success during this period, and I believe that they have recently received unfair criticism, Clarke said in a statement released on Saturday.

However, this is not to say that they, their team mates, their co-selectors or Cricket Australia should be immune from balanced criticism. When assessing the results of the Australian team, it should be noted that great players have retired over the past two years. Players of this calibre are not replaced overnight and in some cases ever.

We have suffered two Test losses to a magnificent South African team and we congratulate them on their success. They now have a chance to leave their most important legacy in managing the current transition from the great team of the last 15 years to rebuilding the dynasty. They deserve and have earned our respect, Clarke said.

Hilditch has been under heavy criticism for sending all-rounder Andrew Symonds into battle in the first two Tests against South Africa despite a knee injury that required surgery, The Herald Sun reported.

Symonds bowled only three overs in the first Test in Perth and wasnt given a bowl by Ricky Ponting until the 125th over of South Africas first innings in the second Test in Melbourne.

The all-rounder has had minor knee surgery and Victorian Andrew McDonald has taken his place in the current third Test at the SCG.

Australia was beaten 2-0 in India in November and trails 2-0 against South Africa. A 3-0 sweep to the Proteas would hand the tourists the top ranking. (ANI)

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