Ricky Ponting’s captaincy of the Australian cricket team has become a subject of debate in the Tasmanian parliament.
Sports minister Michelle O’Byrne has put a notice of motion to the house regarding the leadership qualities of the Apple Isle’s favourite son, who is under fire for his handling of the losing Test series in India.
“I have asked the house to recognise that Ricky has an outstanding record, not just as a player but also as captain of the Australian Test team,” said O’Byrne, who is from Ponting’s home town of Launceston.
She noted that Ponting had led Australia to victory in two World Cups and that his record as a batsman was outstanding, particularly since he became captain.
“I have asked the house to note the great pride that Tasmanians take in his performance as captain and as the world’s premier batsman, and look forward to him continuing to lead our Test and one-day teams with distinction,” O’Byrne said.
“He has been an incredible captain but the attacks seem to be very personal about his capacity to be the leader.
“That is not the problem – he just made a judgment that some people don’t like.”
Ponting, who launched the latest edition of his annual Captain’s Diary in Sydney on Thursday, was previously ranked the world’s best Test batsman, but has now slipped to seventh (fourth in one-day internationals) after a moderate series in India.
Former Australian captains Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ian Chappell have been critical of Ponting’s handling of the Australian attack in the losing fourth Test in Nagpur.
Ponting today received a rousing endorsement from his boss, Cricket Australia’s chief executive James Sutherland.
“I think Ricky has the potential to end up as the most influential Australian cricketer ever, Bradman apart,” Sutherland said in launching the book.