Ponting: Mickey Arthur appointment a mistake

Last updated 14:07 13/02/2014

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Former test captain Ricky Ponting says Cricket Australia made an error in appointing South Africa's Mickey Arthur as national coach in 2011.

In a recorded interview, to be aired on Australia's Nine Network, Ponting said Arthur, who was one of the world's most successful and admired coaches at the time of his appointment, wasn't the right man for the job.

Arthur's tenure lasted 19 months and ended immediately before the Ashes series in England last year, when he was replaced by former Australia test batsman Darren Lehmann.

"Mickey might be one of the great cricket coaches in the world but he wasn't the guy, the personality, the coach that Australian cricket needed at that time." Ponting said. "We needed to bring the old, hard-nosed Aussie way back."

Meanwhile, Ponting says powerful Indian cricket authorities had a hand in the chain of events that prematurely ended the test career of Australia allrounder Andrew Symonds.

Ponting said the Board of Control for Cricket in India influenced the handling of the so-called "Monkeygate" affair which followed the test between Australia and India in Sydney in 2008. India spinner Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Symonds and was suspended for three matches but his penalty was reduced on appeal.

Ponting suggests the BCCI used its power to influence that decision and Symonds' loss of trust in Cricket Australia set in train the circumstances that led to the end of his test career.

"I knew how powerful Indian cricket was - everyone did," Ponting said. "But at the same time, I know how powerful racism is in society as well.

"And I know as an Australian cricket captain, or a member of society in Australia, I have to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn't happen anywhere around me. 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 said the lack of support from Cricket Australia "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."

Symonds' international career came to an end in 2009 after a series of off-field incidents.

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- AP

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