Ponting ~~manhandled~~ by police on final night

Published: Sunday, May 6, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:It came as the last in the line of public relations disasters of the Caribbean World Cup, when a triumphant Australia captain Ricky Ponting was allegedly ''shouldered'' by a Barbados police officer as the World Champions were celebrating their World Cup victory at Kensington Oval on April 28.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a week after the Australians created history by winning the World Champions tag for the third consecutive time, details have emerged of a rift between the players and the local police when a jubillant Aussie squad tried to perform their victory song a few hours after their 53-run win over Sri Lanka.

The report said that the Ponting's men were on the centre wicket when local police, two of whom were armed with machine-guns, ordered them to leave the playing field.

The officer-in-charge was not in a mood to listen when Ponting asked that his team be left for two minutes to sing the song.

He in turn demanded the team and its support staff to leave the ground immediately, it added.

The officer, whom witnesses described as overly aggressive and forceful, then allegedly used his shoulder to bump into the Aussie skipper and became more agitated. When the players stepped forward to protect their skipper they were warned at risk of being arrested.

It is believed that later all-rounder Andrew Symonds intervened and helped defuse the situation by suggesting the team call it a night, the report said.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young has confirmed the reports saying, ''It was around the time the players were due to go back to their hotel, but they wanted to sing their team song, as is their habit after big tournaments, at centre wicket.

''But the police were at the end of their shift and they told the players to move on. They did and went back to the team hotel, where they sang the song by the pool. Glenn McGrath led the song,'' he added.

However, the Barbados police has denied about any such incident taking place.

''That is news to me. I haven't heard anything about that,'' said Sergeant Rock.


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