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Ricky Ponting considers 'Monkeygate' as lowest point during his captaincy

Melbourne, March 18: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting considers the 'Monkeygate' scandal as the lowest point during his time as captain of the national team as he feels he was not in control of what happened at that time.

In 2008, senior Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was charged for racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the second Test at Sydney.

The two-time world cup winning captain Ponting felt 2005 Ashes series defeat was tough, but the Tasmanian revealed the Monkeygate scandal involving Symonds and Harbhajan in 2008 was the lowest point of his captaincy.

"Monkeygate was probably the lowest (point in career as captain). Losing the 2005 Ashes series was tough but I was in full control of that. But I wasn't in full control of what happened during the Monkeygate thing," Ponting told a 'Skysports' podcast.

Harbhajan was eventually cleared of the charge, but Symonds' career went into a downward spiral after the incident.

"It was a low point and also because it dragged on for so long. I remember coming off the ground during the Adelaide Test match and speaking to Cricket Australia officials about the case because the hearing was at the end of the Adelaide Test match," Ponting added.

The incident created a lot of bitterness between the two teams with India threatening to pull out of the tour before the ICC intervened.

"We all felt let down by the end result (of the the Monkeygate controversy). The fact that it got in the way of the way we played our cricket for the next Test match was probably the most disappointing thing," said the Australia batting great.

"So we go over there and India at Perth is game we expect to win and then we lost the match and after that the next few days things just got worse and worse," he went on to add.

Ponting, who led Australia to 48 wins from 77 Tests, also spoke on Ashes defeats in 2005, 2009 and 2010-11.

"The first two probably hurt more because we were expected to win more, certainly in 2005," he said.

"Everyone in 2005 expected us to just come over here, whitewash them (England) again and come back with the Ashes. That didn't happen that way.

"Certainly, for me, the 2005 defeat was the hardest to cope with. But 2010-11, we were just completely outplayed."

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Story first published: Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 11:43 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 18, 2020
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