Ponting asks Indian fans to ‘ease up’

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

Mumbai : Australia captain Ricky Ponting Friday indirectly asked local fans to “ease up” when his team plays India in the Twenty20 International here Saturday. He was referring to the allegations of racism and gestures by some fans.

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Australia’s in-form all-rounder Andrew Symonds seems to have been the target, with his own column, in an Australian newspaper, adding fuel to the fire.

“It’s been on for the last one-and-a-half weeks for no fault of his. It’s still talked about day after day,” Ponting said on the eve of the lone Twenty20 game of the tour before the team flies back home.

“He’s trying to get out of the newspapers as quickly as possible. He will be happy when it’s all done with,” he said.

Even at the seventh and final One-Day International at the Wankhede Stadium here Wednesday, Symonds was in the news as a few fans made some gestures, possibly towards him.

“I’ve been reading a lot of things in the papers on the need for the people of Mumbai to ease up on some of the stuff,” said Ponting.

“All we can do is to play and put on our best show and hopefully the fans will enjoy it,” he added.

Both the Indian and Australian cricket boards tried to defuse the situation Wednesday by issuing a joint statement, deploring any kind of racism in cricket.