Ponting wrong to question umpires: Gatting

Updated: 27 December 2010 13:04 IST

Mike Gatting insisted Ricky Ponting had overstepped the mark with his angry questioning of the umpires during the fourth Ashes Test.

Ponting wrong to question umpires: Gatting

London:

Former England captain Mike Gatting insisted Australia skipper Ricky Ponting had overstepped the mark with his angry questioning of the umpires during the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne on Monday.

Gatting said Ponting was wrong to berate Pakistan's Aleem Dar for a verdict confirmed by the Decision Review System (DRS), as this should now be treated as a final judgment.

Australia, as they are entitled to do, challenged Dar's decision of not out in favour of England batsman Kevin Pietersen when only wicketkeeper Brad Haddin appeared to go up for a caught behind off the bowling of paceman Ryan Harris.

Replay technology did not detect an edge and South African third umpire Marais Erasmus told Dar he could uphold his original ruling.

When Dar did just that, a furious Ponting visibly disputed the decision and also debated the issue angrily with New Zealand on-field umpire Tony Hill.

Pietersen, on 49 at the time, was out soon afterwards for 51.

Gatting, himself involved in am infamous finger-pointing row with umpire Shakoor Rana during England's 1987/88 tour of Pakistan, said there could be no excuse for Ponting's conduct in an age of neutral umpires backed up by television technology.

"This is what the DRS system was supposed to negate," Gatting told BBC Radio Five Live. "You question umpires by referring (a decision) but you really shouldn't question umpires (further).

"I probably shouldn't have done what I did (argued with Rana) but as I've said that was probably more of a personal insult to me than anything else.

"There is technology now and everyone is agreed that it's a good thing for cricket," added Gatting the last England captain to lead a side to Ashes glory in Australia in 1986/87.

"You can question the umpire once but Ricky has gone and questioned the umpire again.

"We can't have that...The system has taken a lot of antagonism out of the game and we've got to the stage where it's working quite well, and it is sad when somebody has to question a decision after it has been referred.

Gatting predicted Ponting would face a "fairly severe ban" but match referee Ranjan Madugalle opted for a 40 percent fine of the player's match fee instead.

"Ricky's actions as captain of his country were unacceptable," former Sri Lanka skipper Madugalle said in an International Cricket Council statement.

"A captain is expected to set the example and not get involved in a prolonged discussion with the on-field umpires and question their decision."

England were well-placed to win come Monday's close after establishing a first innings lead of 346 with five wickets still standing and three days left.

Victory would put England 2-1 up with one Test to play and mean that, at worst, they would share the spoils -- a result that would see them retain the Ashes after their series victory on home soil last year.

Topics : Cricket England Australia
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