Podium episode: Ponting makes peace with Pawar

Published: Friday, November 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Indian cricket supremo Sharad Pawar has accepted an apology from Australian captain Ricky Ponting for his team's behaviour after the Champions Trophy final, an official has said.

"Ponting spoke to Mr Pawar and apologised for the incident. Mr Pawar has accepted the apology and told him the matter was closed," said Board of Control for Cricket in India official Rajiv Shukla here on Friday.

"It's over. Let's get on with the cricket."

Cricket Australia had said earlier that Ponting contacted Pawar late Thursday after 36 hours of trying and expressed regret for offence caused when the Australian manhandled the official off the presentation stage after Sunday's final.

"It was a very amicable telephone call and the two of them decided they would take a sporting approach and move on," CA spokesman Peter Young said in Sydney.

"Ricky offered an apology on behalf of himself and the team and it was accepted in good spirit."

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.

The images generated outrage in India, where cricketing greats Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar condemned the Australians.

BCCI president Pawar, a political heavyweight and federal agriculture minister, expressed a desire to play down the incident but on Thursday described his treatment as "totally uncivilised" to an Australian newspaper.

The furore had threatened to overshadow Australia's preparations for the upcoming Ashes series against England and jeopardise relations with the powerful BCCI.

"Cricket Australia felt it was really important to clear the air on this matter," Young said. "Ricky wanted to take ownership of the situation on behalf of himself and his team," he added.

Australia are due to tour India next October for seven one-day internationals.

India go to Australia in December 2007 for four Tests and a tri-series also featuring Sri Lanka.


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