Aussies should be proud of Ponting's conduct: CA

Cricket Australia threw its weight behind Ricky Ponting and the national selection panel while promising to review the cause of the humiliating loss.

updated: August 25, 2009 09:38 IST
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Cricket Australia on Monday threw its weight behind captain Ricky Ponting and the national selection panel while promising to review the cause of the humiliating loss in the just-concluded Ashes series against England.

The 1-2 series loss also upstaged Australia from the top of the world Test rankings to the fourth place, one spot above England and polls in local newspapers in the country showed that a majority wants Ponting should be sacked.

The defeat gave Ponting (2005 and 2009) the dubious distinction of becoming only the second Australian captain after Billy Murdoch (1884 and 1890) to register two Ashes series defeat in England.

"Ricky's had a very, very good series. He's been under incredible pressure. I thought the dignity and poise that he showed in defeat was something that all Australians should be very proud of," CA Chief Executive James Sutherland told reporters.

Australian selectors, headed by Chairman Andrew Hilditch, have also received flak for their selection and for leaving spinner Nathan Hauritz out of the team for the final Test.

"I don't think in any way we can hold the selectors accountable for us losing the Ashes. At the end of the day the players go out and do the business on the field," he said.

"It was only a few months ago that we had a fantastic series in South Africa and the selectors were hailed for their job and in some way the perceived risks that they took in backing young talent. It would be jumping to conclusions too quickly to blame the selectors," Sutherland said.

"The (CA) board is comfortable with the role they've (selectors) played over time. In the cold hard light of day we'll review the series and get a better understanding of what went right and wrong," he added.

Sutherland, however, admitted the lack of experience in the team after retirements of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden was among the reasons.

"I don't think we're under any illusions as to where this team's at, we're definitely in a rebuilding phase after losing some of the best players to ever play cricket for Australia.

"What you get with a young and relatively inexperienced team is some ebbs and flows in performance."

With CA planning to make at least one of the three-man selection panel full-time, Sutherland said there would be no increased role for the captain and coach in selection matters.

"One of the things we've had as a fundamental is that selectors have always been independent of the coach and the captain and I don't think the board's position has changed from that," he said.

About Hauritz being left out of the last Test, he said, "having a spinner in the side wouldn't have helped us in the first innings, when we were bowled out for 160 and effectively lost the game".