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Ponting apologises for dissent

Last updated on: September 13, 2006 13:24 IST

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has publicly apologised for showing dissent to Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf in Tueasday's one-day international against West Indies in Malaysia.

A remorseful Ponting issued a statement saying he would also issue a personal apology to Rauf for his actions.

"Having had the opportunity to sleep on the incident I know I made a serious error of judgment," he said in a statement.

"I regret the approach I made to Umpire Asad Rauf and realise I shouldn't have behaved in the way I did."

Ponting was fined his full match fee after pleading guilty to a charge of breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) strict code of conduct.

Ponting questioned Rauf's judgement when the Pakistani called a wide against Shane Watson in the 33rd over of the West Indian innings.

Australia won the match by 78 runs but Ponting, who was found guilty of a similar offence against Bangladesh in April, was stripped of his match fee at a post-game hearing in Kuala Lumpur.

The incident comes at a time when the ICC is resisting calls to strip umpires of their powers in the wake of the ball-tampering row involving Pakistan and Australian umpire Darrell Hair.

The Pakistan Cricket Board wants the ICC to take action against Hair but Australian officials have publicly backed their own man, with Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland revealing he had personally contacted the umpire to say he supported him.

Several senior Australian players also spoke out in support of Hair, arguing that all players should abide by the umpire's decision.

The ICC has called on players worldwide to embrace the traditional 'sprit of cricket' and the Australian players haved backed the proposal after addressing the issue of their own on-field behaviour at a training camp in Queensland last month.

"International cricket matches are passionate affairs but as the captain of the Australian cricket team, I understand it's my responsibility to uphold the spirit of the game and I know that through my actions last night I let myself and my team down," Ponting said.

This was Ponting's second breach of the code of conduct in the last 12 months -- the other one took place during the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong in April -- and his punishment was automatically raised to a level 2 offence.

The charge was brought by on-field umpires Rauf and Tony Hill and third umpire Mark Benson.

"A captain should set the example for his players to follow and it is not acceptable for any player, let alone a captain, to question an umpire's decision," said Broad.

All Level 2 breaches carry a minimum penalty of a fine of 50 per cent of match fee and a maximum penalty of their full match fee and/or a one Test match or two ODIs ban.

Broad drew his conclusion after hearing the three umpires, Ponting and Australia team manager Steve Bernard and coach John Buchanan.

Ponting does have a right of appeal against the decision which must be lodged in writing with the ICC Legal Counsel within 24 hours of the decision.

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