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Ricky Ponting dishes stinging retort to Joe Root’s ‘ridiculous’ idea ahead of fifth Ashes Test at The Oval

Ricky Ponting dishes stinging retort to Joe Root’s ‘ridiculous’ idea ahead of fifth Ashes Test at The Oval

Read Time:4 Minute, 57 Second

Ricky Ponting has a sharp message for former England captain, Joe Root.

“You can’t just change the laws of the game whenever you want to,” Ponting said.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Washout settles the Ashes as Aussies keep the urn.

Watch, Stream & Catch Up with Australia’s Home of Cricket on 7plus >>

That’s in response to Root’s “ridiculous” suggestion that play should be allowed to continue late into the evening and night to help force a result.

England were forced to settle for a draw in the fourth Test at Manchester last week when rain washed out most of the last two days’ play, despite being in a commanding position in the game.

The defeat, given the 2-1 scoreline in Australia’s favour with one match left to play, means the English can no longer regain the Ashes back off the tourists, who have now held the coveted urn for the past four straight series.

Clearly frustrated by Mother Nature’s intervention in the series, Root suggested the laws on playing conditions be changed to mitigate such circumstances.

“It doesn’t get dark until 10pm here in the summer,” Root told the BBC after the drawn fourth Test.

“Why can’t we play until the overs are bowled?”

Massive Ashes selection clue dropped in final net session

Joe Root wants to be able to play until later at night to force a result. Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images

But asked about Root’s comments on The ICC Review podcast in the aftermath of the match, Ponting had some choice words for the former England skipper.

“Joe’s comment is ridiculous,” Ponting said.

“That had to be some sort of tongue-in-cheek (remark), talking about it not getting dark until late — well, that’s not the playing conditions, that’s not the laws of the game.

“I’m sure there have been times when England have wanted to not get back out there and play themselves. I mean, that’s just a ridiculous thing to say.”

Knowing — as everyone did — that the fifth day would likely be washed out, England antagonist Stuart Broad, in a column published after the fourth day’s play, said it would be “unjust” if weather were to deny England of a near-certain win and effectively ensure Australia would retain the Ashes.

Ponting said he could “understand Stuart’s frustration”, but reminded him that rain in England, especially the north of England, was nothing unusual.

Ricky Ponting shot Joe Root’s comment down. Credit: Visionhaus/Visionhaus/Getty Images

“They had dominated that game; they had to dominate that game, they had to win that game to get themselves back in the series,” Ponting observed.

“So, they’d done everything that they possibly could, but unfortunately the weather came in.

“So, I can understand the frustration there, but it’s not like it’s the first time it’s ever happened, especially in the UK and especially in Manchester.

“Looking at the numbers the other day, Manchester now is on an even keel with the Sydney Cricket Ground on the most full days of international cricket that have been washed out, so, it’s not the first time it’s happened here, and it won’t be the last time.”

The former Australia captain and all-time leading run-scorer for his country also took the liberty of pointing out that England can’t win the series because of the scoreline, not because of two days of rain.

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“You know, they did everything they could in their power to try and force a result,” he said.

“Unfortunately for them, they’ve waited until the fourth Test to actually play that way and get themselves in a situation like that in a game. And for them, it was too late.

“It’s not like it’s the first time (this has) happened; I reckon it was the exact reverse in 2013 when Australia were pushing for a win and the last couple of days of one of those Test matches got washed out.

“When you’re playing Test matches over five days, weather will come into it at some stage. At some stage, we felt that weather would have an impact on one of these Test matches somewhere through this English summer, and it just happened to be last week.”

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But despite failing to regain the Ashes for yet another series, and being at risk of conceding a 3-1 series defeat, England captain Ben Stokes has continually said publicly that this current England regime is worried more about entertaining and leaving a legacy for the trailblazing way they play the game than they are about winning.

Asked if history will look back on such a radical approach fondly, Ponting’s answer was clear.

“With one Test match to go, if Australia win and they beat England 3-1, I’m sure more people are going to be speaking about that result, rather than some of the individual performances from England,” he said.

“In saying that, it’s been great to be here and be a part of this series; it’s being spoken about like the 2005 series, and we know that 2005 had a huge impact on the way the Test match game was watched and probably played all around the world after that series.”

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Australia expose England’s ‘short memory’ over complaints about ‘unjust’ Ashes washout Previous post Australia expose England’s ‘short memory’ over complaints about ‘unjust’ Ashes washout
Ashes selection clue dropped in Australia’s final net session before fifth Test against England at The Oval Next post Ashes selection clue dropped in Australia’s final net session before fifth Test against England at The Oval
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