There has been a lot of predictable wailing and gnashing of Aussie teeth in the wake of England’s moral victory (read: scraped, backs-against-the-wall draw) in the first test of this year’s Ashes in Cardiff.
England somehow managed to work a draw from an almost certain losing situation, and professional red-faced moaner Ricky Ponting was as quick to complain to anyone who would listen about some apparent time-wasting. No mention of the ridiculous and desperate hassling of the umpire for non-wickets, mind you. And anyway, there was spilt drink on a glove Ricky. That needs professional attention.
‘They can play whatever way they want to play,’ said Ponting. ‘We will do everything we can to play by the rules and the spirit of the game. I don't think it was required. They had changed gloves before, so I'm not sure they were going to be too sweaty after one over. I am not sure what the physio was doing out there. I think a few guys were questioning the umpires. I think a few guys were also questioning the 12th man. I am sure others will be taking it up with the England hierarchy as they should.' Boo hoo.
‘If Ricky's angry, that's a shame,’ lied Andrew Strauss. ‘I don't think we were deliberately trying to waste a huge amount of time. They weren't our tactics, as both of the guys were playing pretty well in the middle. The reality of the situation is that Australia couldn't take that final wicket and we got away with the draw.’