Fletcher out to cover backside: Ponting - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fletcher out to cover backside: Ponting

By Wayne Heming 21/10/2005 05:56:44 PM Comments (0)

Ricky Ponting says England cricket coach Duncan Fletcher may be trying to "cover his own backside" by attacking him and the Australian cricket team after one of the tightest Ashes series in history.

The Australian captain was disappointed by Fletcher's latest broadside, suggesting it sounded more like England had lost the Ashes, not won them.

Fletcher accused Ponting and the Australian players of verbal abuse, physical intimidation and hypocrisy during a thrilling series where Ponting was highly critical of England's tactics of using specialist fieldsmen as substitutes in Test matches.

In his book, The Coach's Story, to be released next week, Fletcher said Australia had been guilty of flouting the spirit of the game during the recent Ashes series, and that Ponting and vice-captain Adam Gilchrist had confronted umpires with "overbearing body language".

Fletcher said Ponting "blew his top" when he smiled at him after he was run out in the fourth Test by Gary Pratt, a crack substitute fielder, who had been subbed on for a bowler.

"I don't recall having any of the umpires speak to me or any of the match officials speak to other than that one incident in which I was fined for," Ponting said in Brisbane.

"We did everything in our power to play the game in the right spirit.

"I think that was pretty evident right through the whole series and we've been applauded for the way we played through the series.

"I don't know if he's trying to cover his own backside a little bit with a lot of these allegations directed at us now.

"It's all coming after some allegations were made against him about the way England conducted themselves through the tour.

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