Whinging Poms? Has the world ever seen a whingier cricketer than Ricky Thomas Ponting?
Sport needs a bit of ‘us and them’ so that you can enjoy it properly, so it was perversely enjoyable to see Ponting spend three-quarters of an hour bending Aleem Dar’s ear. As he stamped his feet with tears rolling down his pudgy munchkin face, it was just about impossible not to feel your support for England swelling by the second – even if you were Australian.
Ponting has ‘previous’ when it comes to bitching and moaning at umpires. He’s got something of the Premiership footballer about him in that he’ll lean right in the umpire’s face, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the decision has been made and will never be changed in a million years.
Aleem Dar knows how to deal with Ricky Ponting. He blankly explained what had happened, effortlessly rising above the situation. Then, later on, he called for a no-ball review when a wicket had been taken, saving Matt Prior. On the outside Dar remained just as blank-faced when the no-ball was confirmed, but on the inside he was pointing and laughing at ol’ Spit Hands, red-faced and fuming in his tatty green hat.