Ponting snubs Fletcher claim
Ricky Ponting has labelled Duncan Fletcher as "irrelevant" after comments made by the former England head coach on Tuesday.
Last Updated: 15/07/09 12:05pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has labelled Duncan Fletcher as "irrelevant" after the former England head coach accused him of double standards following the first Ashes Test.
Fletcher became the latest high-profile figure to react to the Australian's claims that England jeopardised the spirit of cricket in the dying overs of the drawn series opener.
Speaking to the Guardian on Tuesday, Fletcher said: "Ponting has to be careful. Someone needs to sit down and ask him what he understands by the spirit of the game.
"The way he plays is definitely not in the spirit."
Ponting has responded dismissively to Fletcher, the driving off-field force behind England's 2005 Ashes success, branding the 60-year-old an "irrelevant" figure in the world game.
"A lot of people have had their say on the issue... including former England coach Duncan Fletcher, who accused me of not playing in the spirit of the game," Ponting wrote in the Telegraph.
"I can't really understand what he's talking about there, because I have never been in trouble with the umpires on that score, but I don't want to give Fletcher too much attention.
"He is a very irrelevant person in my life and probably in the cricket world right now. Everyone has his or her opinion and if I listened to them all I would never get to sleep."
Fletcher's criticism of Ponting was echoed by current England coach Andy Flower, who claims the Australia skipper "made a meal" of the incident.
Ponting, however, is now ready to draw a line under the incident which he claims has been blown out of proportion.
"I have been a bit blown away by all the fuss over my comments on England's physio and 12th man," he continued.
"It seems as if we're all talking about that one little incident, when we've just witnessed one of the great climaxes to a Test match.
"It's all done and dusted, it was over in a couple of minutes, and the players have all moved on."