Melbourne: Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has emerged as the worst behaved player to play for the country in the last 20 years and has been asked by former legends of the game to improve his on-field attitude.
Former skipper Mark Taylor has asked Ponting to improve his on-field attitude after the public lashed the Australian side for their behaviour in last week"s Test against the West Indies.
A list of official International Cricket Council breaches obtained by The Sunday Telegraph placed Ponting among world cricket"s serial offenders.
Ponting has presided over more team offences during his captaincy than predecessors Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor.
Ponting has been forced to pay more than 25,000 dollars in fines since the behavioural measures were introduced in 1992. Of his six breaches, four related to umpire dissent.
Under Ponting"s leadership, Australia has totalled 18 separate code-of-conduct breaches - double the number of incidents during Taylor"s reign between 1992-99.
Ponting"s disciplinary record should spark alarm at Cricket Australia, which privately addressed players on their responsibilities to the game before this year"s Ashes series in June.
Fans have pilloried the Australian side in the wake of the spiteful Perth Test, with more than 70 per cent of respondents in a News Limited poll claiming their actions towards the Windies were over the top and embarrassing.
The misconduct included Shane Watson"s churlish send-off of Windies skipper Chris Gayle and a tense confrontation between Sulieman Benn and Australian duo Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson.
“I just think the Australians could be a bit more pro-active in trying to nip these things in the bud, rather than let things escalate," Taylor said.
“To be fair to Ricky, it"s not always easy. It can be hard to control a situation if you"re not out in the middle and two of your batsmen are in the heat of battle. But as captain you have to make an honest appraisal of whether your players are close to crossing the line."