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Ponting: 'Lack of senior experience around the side led to Newlands scandal'
Australia News

Ponting: 'Lack of senior experience around the side led to Newlands scandal'

Ricky Ponting feels lack of senior experience around the side led to the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Newlands.

Cricket Australia was plunged into deep crisis when the scandal broke, which led to lengthy bans handed over to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

While speaking at a fundraiser dinner for the Chappell foundation at the SCG, Ponting said the path leading to the Newlands scandal had started years before as there was a decline in the level of senior experience to mentor the players in the side.

"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 said [as quoted by Cricinfo].

"If I look at where things got at Cape Town I just don't think there were enough people around 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 Twenty20 cricket and the World Cup last year.”

Also Read: Why did Australia ball-tampering saga cut so deep?

Ponting revealed that he should have retired almost four years earlier but couldn’t as he felt that move might have left a leadership void in the group. He hung up his boots aged 37 in 2012, playing the last series of his career against South Africa at home. Put short, he was unsure of the direction the team would’ve taken in his absence.

If he had retired in 2008, that would have left Michael Clarke to take over the duties, but he wasn’t ready at the point in time. "I was just a little bit worried with the void that was left on the experience side," Ponting said.

"Every great team that I played in, whether it be a club team or an Australian cricket team or a state team, there was always a lot of old hard heads around just to make sure when the younger guys came in that they understood what it meant to be playing for each of those teams. And if I had have retired ... I was worried there wasn't going to be enough people to point them in the right direction."

Ponting also highlighted how Australian side had improved since the scandal and highlighted how opening batsman David Warner had matured.