Time for special South Africa-Australia trophy: Ponting

March 3rd, 2009 - 10:23 am ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, March 3 (IANS) Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting feels that the time has arrived for a special trophy whenever they clash with South Africa, just like when they play against England for the Ashes or meet India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Ponting told the Afrikaans weekly Rapport here that winning a test series between Australia and South Africa was just as prestigious as celebrating an Ashes win against England.

“I think the time has really arrived to play for a trophy whenever we and South Africa play,” Ponting said.

“Less than ten years ago it was really only the Ashes during which such a trophy was the prize, but these days there are not many (inter-country) tests without a special trophy.”

The visiting captain, who led his side to victory in the first test against the hosts at the Wanderers Stadium here on Monday, said the Australia-South Africa Trophy should also bear the names of two cricketing greats from the respective countries , just like the one named after former captains Alan Border and Sunil Gavaskar that they played against India for.

“I see no reason why this can’t happen,” Ponting added, as South African captain Graeme Smith agreed.

“Sine our success Down Under there is now unprecedented interest in any series between us and the Aussies, because in the past it was a rather one-sided affair (with the Australians cleaning up),” Smith said.

“To play against the Aussies is bigger than anything else for every South African, and there are definitely enough icons on either side to justify two names on a trophy.”

The Australians just need to tie the three-test series to retain the top spot in the International Cricket Council test rankings after being whitewashed during a record-breaking visit by the South Africans last month.

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