Everything I did was right and in the right spirit: Ponting

Sydney, Jan 8 (UNI) Australia captain Ricky Ponting today said everything he did against Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on racial issue will enhance the game in the future and has set an example to the wider community.

Ponting said he was dissappointed to hear former players' remarks who even claimed him as a ''dobber who had opened a pandora's box'' for making a report of what he believed was racial abuse towards Andrew Symonds.

''Over the past two years match referees have made it clear at the start of every series that it is the captain's responsibility to immediately report any form of racism from either the crowd or on the field,''he said.

Referring to the incident which was held in the second Test Ponting said ''When I heard what had taken place with Andrew I immediately informed the umpires and then left the field at the end of the over to inform our team manager, which is what we are instructed to do.'' Commenting on India captain Anil Kumble's claim that only one team was playing with spirit of the game, Ponting said, ''it is a shame that this issue has come to dominate the Test because from my point of view I believe that both the Melbourne and Sydney Tests were played in terrific spirit.'' This is not something we take lightly so it is surprising and disappointing to hear Anil Kumble suggest that we did not play within that spirit in Sydney,'' he added.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting also called for calm after Indian supporters demonstrated in the streets in response to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to ban off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for three Tests.

''I think it's important for all of us to look past that and realise that both India and Australia have had tremendous relations through 100 years of Test cricket,'' he said adding ''you'd like to think that one little incident like this wouldn't bring undone all the great work that's been done for such a long period of time.'' UNI XC RKM RAR BST1545

Story first published: Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 16:11 [IST]
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