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Sydney: Feb 13, 2014
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting feels lack of support from the Cricket Australia (CA) to Andrew Symonds during the ‘Monkeygate’ episode was the reason behind the premature end to the mercurial all-rounder’s career.
Ponting said Cricket Australia (CA) bowed to the heavy-weights Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) during the 2008 incident in which India cricketer Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Symonds during a controversial Test match.
“I was told every day, every week by Cricket Australia that we had to stamp it out of the game. And [when] it did [happen], I had to make a stand against it. I followed the instructions to the letter. I did everything I was expected to do. I know there are a lot of administrators in Cricket Australia who can’t say the same thing,” Ponting was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press from his interview to Nine Network, to be aired on Saturday.
Harbhajan was banned for three Tests following the incident but the BCCI got the sanction revoked following an appeal.
Ponting said Symonds was never the same after the ‘Monkeygate’ affair during the Sydney Test.
“And that was the start of the end for Andrew Symonds. His career spiraled downhill after that because I know for a fact that he didn’t feel like he could trust the people he needed to trust,” he said.
Following a string of off-field incidents, Symonds went out of favour from the national selectors as he played his last Test in the same year, while his ODI career ended few months later in May 2009.
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