Ponting fined £3,800 for outburst in Test

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The Independent Online

Ponting's reaction to being run out on Saturday was understandable yet misplaced. It highlighted the immense pressure the Australian captain is under as his team's grip on the Ashes slips.

Michael Vaughan has pushed the law relating to the use of substitutes to the limit, but at the time Simon Jones was off the field with a genuine injury, and England were therefore entitled to field a substitute.

Ponting's ire comes from the fact Vaughan's bowlers have constantly been leaving the field ever since his team arrived in this country. Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, has said it is because they need the toilet, but there is nothing a fast bowler enjoys more than having a shower and putting his feet up for 10 or 15 minutes after a spell of bowling.

There is nothing new about the tactic but it is viewed by Australians as being against the spirit of the game. Controlling it is impossible for umpires, and it probably needs the ICC to amend the laws so that a bowler cannot bowl for a considerable period of time should he be off the field for more than 10 minutes.

The England fielders were the first to be hit by a tirade of abuse from the Australian captain as he waited for the third umpire to judge whether he had made his ground. Once the OUT sign had appeared on the huge television screen at Trent Bridge, Ponting then gave the umpires a piece of his mind.

But rather than calm down as he left the ground Ponting became even more incensed, and he aimed another four-letter outburst at the England dressing room. Realising the error of his ways, Ponting issued a statement of regret afterwards.

It read: "I let myself down with my reaction and for that I apologise to those who see me as a role model. My frustration at getting out was compounded by the fact that I was run out by a substitute fielder, an issue that has concerned us throughout this series."

Ponting was not the only one to end up before the hearing. Simon Katich's tantrum when given out lbw to Steve Harmison by umpire Aleem Dar earned him a fine of 50 per cent (£2,500) of his match fee.