Ponting backs Watson in Australia crisis

Last updated 07:02 15/03/2013
Shane Watson
Getty Images
RETURNING: Australia vice-captain Shane Watson is heading back to India.

Relevant offers

Cricket

Batsman Shaun Marsh to undergo elbow surgery Jeetan Patel enjoying his county stint in England Why are England so poor? Ghosts, apparently Ishant Sharma inspires Indian second test win England gloveman Matt Prior to take a break Cricket World Cup boss sees capital tourism spinoffs Ish Sodhi could have cricket fans in a spin Jesse Ryder 'goes pongo' with the bat England face uphill battle to save Lord's test Dale Steyn inspired by Allan Donald in Galle

Suspended Australia vice-captain Shane Watson received the backing of former skipper Ricky Ponting on Thursday as crisis surrounding the team rumbled on.

Watson, along with three other players, was suspended for the third test in India after failing to respond to a request from Australia's management for feedback on how the team could be improved.

Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard described Watson as "sometimes" a team player but Ponting, one of Australia's most successful captains, begged to differ.

"Shane worked as hard as anybody around his cricket, there's no doubt about that," Ponting was quoted in Australian media.

"He's obviously made a blue here - I don't like to refer to it as homework because it wasn't homework - not getting his tasks done that were given to him by the coach.

"... I've never known him to be anything other than a very good team player and a great bloke to have around your team.

"I loved every moment that I played with Watto."

Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja were also dropped for the same reason.

Watson, who was initially thought to be considering his test career, has returned to Australia to be with his pregnant wife.

Describing his suspension as "extremely harsh" Watson hit back at Howards's comment this week.

"All I can really say is go around and ask every person I've ever played cricket with and that will give you the best indication of whether I'm a team man or not," he said.

"Pat Howard doesn't particularly know me very well. He's come from a rugby background and hasn't been in and around cricket very long."

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Was a life ban from cricket a fair punishment for Lou Vincent?

Yes, he's admitted to match-fixing and deserves his punishment

It doesn't go far enough in my opinion

No, it's only going to deter whistle blowers in the future

It's too harsh. A two-year ban would have been fair

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content