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Aussie victory antics ~~totally uncivilised~~, says Pawar

Published: Thursday, November 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:India's cricket chief branded Australia's behaviour "totally uncivilised" in his strongest remarks since being manhandled from the presentation stage following the Champions Trophy final.

As Australian captain Ricky Ponting desperately tried to contact BCCI president Sharad Pawar to apologise for his team's actions, the Indian official lashed out at his treatment following Australia's victory last Sunday.

Pawar had previously played down the incident but made it clear in the Australian media he was not happy with his treatment.

"I will not react to this other than to say it was totally uncivilised," Pawar told the Sydney Morning Herald from India in remarks published Thursday.

"This is not good at all but I have decided to play it down because we have an extremely good relationship with the Australian board and we would like to keep that going."

Television footage after Australia's win showed an impatient Ponting gesturing with his finger for Pawar to hand over the trophy quickly and batsman Damien Martyn then pushing him away from the celebrating players.

Both Australians have since offered to apologise to Pawar, one of the most powerful officials in world cricket.

Cricket Australia spokesman Philip Pope said Ponting had repeatedly tried to contact Pawar in India on Wednesday night and Thursday morning but the official was unavailable.

"He's tried to get through to him six or seven times but has not spoken to him yet," Pope told AFP.

Ponting admitted in a televised interview released Thursday to coincide with the launch of his 2006 tour diary that the incident "doesn't look great on television" but insisted there was no malicious intent towards Pawar.

"That's why it's so important for me to be in personal contact and if there is anything lingering to get it sorted out as quickly as we can," he said.

Martyn also offered Pawar an apology for the behaviour with outraged Indian cricket stars Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, as well as the host nation's media.

"I didn't mean to offend him and I apologise if I did so," Martyn told Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"There was nothing in it other than me trying to help him out as there was a crush of people."

But Pawar said it was the Australian players, not him, intruding on the presentation stage.

"Those players were not allowed to come onto the dais it was only supposed to be the captain," he said.

"Certainly I would accept an apology because then we could close this chapter.

"The Australian board is headed by a respected and civilised man and our relationship is extremely good. If they apologise, it would be a good signal to the people in this country."

AFP

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