Ponting defends Gilchrist

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/ponting-ind1.jpg' class='caption'> Ponting threw his weight behind Adam Gilchrist and said the stumper meant no malice in his observation of Tendulkar's role in the &quot;monekeygate scandal.

Updated: November 01, 2008 09:25 IST
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New Delhi:

Australia captain Ricky Ponting threw his weight behind his former deputy Adam Gilchrist and said the retired stumper meant no malice in his observation of Sachin Tendulkar's role in the "monekeygate scandal".

Asked if he thought that improving relationship between cricketers of both countries was affected by Gilchrist's unsavoury comment on Tendulkar, Ponting said, "I do not really think there was any malice intended from Adam in what he had to say in his book.

"I think it was reading between the lines, last couple of days, but he has actually contacted Sachin and cleared the air." Tendulkar had expressed shock over Gilchrist's comments in his soon to be released autobiography 'True Colours', in which he had questioned his honesty and sportsman spirit.

"I was surprised. I didn't know how to react. (What he alleged) is something that I can't even think of in my wildest dreams. I love the game so much and those remarks came from someone who doesn't know me enough. I think he made loose statements," he had said.

Gilchrist had taken a swipe at Tendulkar's honesty during the Harbhajan Singh race row trial, accusing him of giving different versions to the match referee and the ICC adjudicator but Tendulkar had said it was a closed chapter for him.

"That's his opinion but as far as I am concerned the chapter is closed," he said.

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