Ponting plays down Symonds-Ishant on-field spat

February 24th, 2008 - 9:50 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, Feb 24 (IANS) Australia captain Ricky Ponting Sunday played down Andrew Symonds’ heated exchange of words with Ishant Shrama during his team’s Commonwealth Bank tri-series game against India which Australia won by 18 runs. Symonds, who was the central character in an ugly racism debate on this very ground during the ill-tempered second Test, once again turned the spotlight on himself for all the wrong reasons.

The burly all-rounder stood his ground after his stumps were rattled by a slower one from Ishant and got involved in an ugly altercation with the young bowler.

“Probably there is something in the water here (Sydney), but one should not make too much of these altercations,” Ponting said about the incident.

Symonds blazed 59 runs to propel Australia to a challenging 317, smashing five fours and two sixes.

After being bowled by Ishant, Symonds refused to leave the ground, to which the bowler retaliated and showed the Australian his way back to the pavilion. This led to the two umpires asking the players to show restraint. Umpire Daryl Harper even had a word with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Symonds has been the centre of controversy during the Test match here when he alleged that Harbhajan Singh had calling him a monkey, which kicked up a storm that threatened to derail the ongoing tour.

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