Ponting reveals details of heated fan exchange

Updated: 07 August 2009 16:47 IST

Ricky Ponting revealed details of a heated exchange he had with an England supporter during the third Test.

Ponting reveals details of heated fan exchange

Leeds:

Australia captain Ricky Ponting revealed on Thursday details of a heated exchange he had with an England supporter during the third Test and said the incident could have been avoided with better security.

Ponting, who has been booed by England supporters during the Ashes series, felt a line had been crossed from goodhearted pantomime-like booing when a spectator at Edgbaston on Sunday abused him as he returned to the pavilion after he had been bowled by Graeme Swann for five.

"There were some words exchanged," Ponting told reporters at Headingley. "The spectator was actually leaning over the front of the grandstand and gave me a bit of a gob-full as I got out. He was later thrown out of the ground so it would appear he was in the wrong doing what he did.

"It's probably a security thing more than anything else. Where we had to walk on and off was in vicinity of a lot of spectators. If there was one place in world where a security guy should have been standing it was right there where that spectator was so it could have been avoided," Ponting added.

England, seeking to regain the Ashes, leads the series 1-0 with two matches to play. Despite the tense situation of the series, Ponting said he is enjoying the competition and especially the friendly banter with the supporters.

England's more vocal fans known as the Barmy Army, which has actually become a travel company, are appreciated by Australia's players, Ponting said, as he attempted to play down the laTest incident.

"(The barracking) is part and parcel of what we do, it happens everywhere around the world," Ponting said. "It's no bigger deal here in this series as it's been in any other series that I've played.

"I've enjoyed a lot of the spectator participation in the series. The Barmy Army are, as I have always said, the best group of sports supporters in any sport that I've seen around the world. They come to the cricket to enjoy themselves. It's small minorities that make days disappointing for others."

Meantime, Ponting said the final team would be selected on the morning of the match. The selection dilemmas include whether to recall fast bowler Brett Lee after he recovered from a rib injury, whether seamer Stuart Clark will return and if wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is fit enough after breaking his finger 30 minutes before the third Test bagan.

Michael Clarke, who has scored centuries in the second and third Tests, is also an injury doubt after hurting an abdominal muscle at Edgbaston. He is expected to play.

"It was great to see Brad Haddin with the gloves on again yesterday (Wednesday) and catching a few balls and having a good hit-out in the middle so they are good signs but we will need him to do a bit more to pass himself fit for the game," Ponting said.

"Brett ran in and bowled as he has in a long time yesterday in the nets and most of us batters were on the receiving end of a few short ones. He bowled with good pace but the selectors will be wondering if he has done enough to warrant selection in a Test match."

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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