Baggy green is more respected now, asserts PontingMay 22nd, 2008 - 5:57 pm ICT by admin
Sydney, May 22 (IANS) Australian captain Ricky Ponting has lashed out at former players, who criticised the team for not wearing the traditional baggy green cap in a tour game in West Indies, saying the symbol of country’s cricket pride is more revered now than ever before. The Australian team wore a sponsors’ cap with the VB logo on the first day of the tour match against a Jamaican XI, which irked the former players and sparked off a controversy.
“There has been an evolution in what the baggy green means to the Australian team and I would argue that there has never been a time when it was more respected,” Ponting wrote in his column in The Australian.
Ponting said some former players were upset but they do not understand why it happened.
“Before the practice game Brad Haddin made it clear that he did not want to wear the baggy green until he had been presented one for the Test. As a team we wanted to present a uniform look and the only option we had was to wear the blue training caps.”
The Australian skipper said the importance of the baggy green has grown for the current lot of Australian players.
“There was a time when the baggy green cap was handed out at will. When I first started, players got one of them when they were given their touring kit — whether they played a Test or not — and they could get replacements any time they liked.”
“When former players started selling them at auctions things had to change. The player group was not happy with it, it was undermining their symbolic value, so Cricket Australia changed the policy.”
“These days you do not get the baggy green until it is presented on the morning of debut. I think some of the former players who criticised us thought we were still operating under the old system.
“Today it is a Test cap and it is a cherished and valued thing. Matthew Hayden has had one baggy green for his whole career and if he needs a new one he has to sign a form that says the other is worn out and won’t be going anywhere. That’s how seriously we take it.”
Ponting said Cricket Australia have sorted out the matter after the current fiasco.
“Cricket Australia has assured me that in the future we will not be left in a situation where the only cap we can wear is a sponsor’s cap. They will have a baggy green without the emblem on the front so the players who have not played a Test can wear it.”
Tags: auctions, australian captain, baggy green cap, captain ricky ponting, controversy, cricket australia, debut, evolution, match, matthew hayden, practice game, pride, replacements, ricky, skipper, sydney, symbolic value, tour game, west indies