Ricky Ponting cites out reason for the infamous ‘Sandpaper Gate’

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Ricky Ponting. (Image Source: The Insider)

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has pointed out the reason for the infamous ‘Sandpaper gate’ which rocked Australian cricket during the early part of 2018.


Ponting cited the absence of experience within the leadership group as the main reason for the fiasco, which causes turbulence in the proud cricketing nation.

Post-2015 World Cup and the subsequent Ashes series, Michael Clarke passed on the baton of captaincy to young Steve Smith, still finding his way in the international arena back then.


Smith found support in David Warner, who was appointed as the vice-captain of the Australian team. However, the three-time World cup-winning cricketer believes that the ability to deny from experience is what hindered Australian cricket the most.

“I was a bit worried that with a lot of the experience going out of our team at the same time, that there would be a bit of a void left with experienced players to be able to say ‘no’ basically,” Ponting told EspnCricinfo.

According to Ponting, the lack of experienced campaigners in the squad led to the escalation of events during the dramatic Australia’s tour of South Africa in 2018.


“If I look at where things got at Cape Town, I just don’t think there were enough people around in that team to say ‘no’ to some of those guys. Things got completely out of control. That’s very much an outsider’s view on it. I had nothing to do with the team really until the last couple of years around some T20 cricket and the World Cup last year,” added the cricketer turned coach.

In hindsight, the 45-year old Tasmanian accepted the fact that he should have retired earlier than he did. But, the former captain was worried about the direction of the team, during the twilight of his career.

“I probably should have retired three or four years earlier than I did but I was really worried about where the direction of the Australian cricket team was going if I wasn’t around,” Ponting rued.


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Shubro is an ardent fan of sports, be it cricket, soccer, or tennis, he has an eye for all. Meticulous cricket writer by the day and an avid FIFA mobile player by the night, his life revolves around sports. The goal is to trott around the globe and to spread happiness through his goofy sense of humour. Write to him at shubro.mukherjee@crickettimes.com.