Ponting blames Billy Bowden for Ashes loss

Published: Monday, October 31, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:England's alleged use of mint sweets to help swing the Ashes series their way no longer leaves a bitter taste in Australian mouths.

Pace bowler Nathan Bracken created a stir last week when he suggested the use of mint sweets helped English bowlers create deadly reverse swing, though he swiftly backed down, saying his comments were "tongue in cheek".

Now another culprit has been unearthed to explain Australia's surrender of cricket's famous urn, New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden.

Captain Ricky Ponting has blamed Bowden's turning down of a leg-before-wicket appeal in the second test at Edgbaston for Australia's two-run defeat, which levelled the series 1-1.

Writing in his Ashes Diary 2005, Ponting said the result could have been different if Bowden adjudged Simon Jones out lbw to speedster Brett Lee in the English second innings. "It was as plumb as could be, yet Bowden said not out," Ponting recalled in the Sun Herald newspaper.

"I was pretty agitated when Bowden said the ball was going down leg," said Ponting, who admitted that he initially had the same opinion.

"My impression was it was going down leg but it swung at the last second," he said.

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