Ponting, Fletcher 'bury hatchet' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting, Fletcher 'bury hatchet'

By Adam Cooper 18/12/2006 08:40:58 PM Comments (0)

Australian captain Ricky Ponting says he has buried the hatchet with England coach Duncan Fletcher despite taking the Ashes out of his opponents' keeping.

The pair famously fell out when Ponting unleashed a spray at Fletcher after he was dismissed by England sub fielder Gary Pratt during last year's Ashes series.

Fletcher gave a fuming Ponting a sarcastic smile as the Australian skipper walked up the race at Trent Bridge as the balance of the series swung England's way.

The verbal barbs continued over the next year, but Ponting made an effort to patch up the differences between the pair when he went into England's dressing room after Australia won the third Test at the WACA Ground and regained cricket's prized trophy.

"I've got no hard feelings between Duncan and me," Ponting said.

"There were a few a few months ago, but there's none now.

"I went down into their rooms and shook all their players' hands and then I went back to ours and had a beer."

Ponting also meant to console his opposite number Andrew Flintoff after the match, but was denied the chance when swamped by presentations and media commitments.

However in keeping with the close bond between the sides, Ponting apologised to Flintoff for not getting over to him earlier, just before the post-match presentation ceremony.

There was little chance for Ponting to get a moment to himself given his remarkable December.

So far this month he enjoyed the greatest Test win he had been involved in, when Australia fought back to win in Adelaide, and on Monday he regained the Ashes he had lost as skipper 15 months ago.

He leads the series aggregate with 524 runs, with two matches to play.

Ponting was the man who wore the Ashes loss last year more than most, but he denied he had any personal crusade to the urn back.

"I wasn't any more disappointed than the next guy in the dressing room at The Oval 15 months ago," he said.

"There's no doubt that I've had a burning desire to be the best player that I could be from that moment on, and try and lead the team as well as I could as well."

Ponting has more reasons to enjoy himself over the next week. He turns 32 on Tuesday, will enjoy Christmas Day with the series already in the stocking, and then on Boxing Day will lead his side out to a packed MCG for the fourth Test.

"It has been a great week and I'm so proud of what we've achieved," he said.

The Christmas turkey might taste a little dry for England's main office-holders though.

Fletcher is under pressure to retain his position beyond the World Cup next year, while Flintoff has experienced a lousy personal series on top of his team's struggles.

Flintoff is also yet to find out what happens if Michael Vaughan returns after knee troubles to play in the one-day tri-series in the new year, although he said he wanted to stay on as skipper.

"If the job is available of course I will (want to stay on), but we'll just have to see what happens," he said.

Flintoff said England was desperate to salvage something from the final two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, especially to ease the pressure on his coach.

"Duncan is pretty much on an even keel throughout," he said.

"When a side hasn't performed particularly well there is flak knocking around.

"The coach cops some, I have copped some and I think a few of the lads have as well, which is inevitable.

"It will be nice for us to win for the side, win for the coach, and put some of the faith back that he has put in the lads."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news