Amidst allegations and doubts on ethical values and the kind of culture that Australian Cricket seems to have developed over the years, former Captain Ricky Ponting has said that few incidents like the ball-tampering one earlier this year can't tarnish the image of the system down under.
In March 2018, Cricket Australia banned Steve Smith, David Warner for one year and Cameron Bancroft for a period of 9 months, after the trio was found out guilty of the offense where they were deliberately trying to alter the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa using a piece of sandpaper.
Just recently, England all-rounder Moeen Ali accused one Australian player of racial abuse during the Cardiff Test in Ashes 2015.
All these incidents and those in memories from the past as well, have attracted widespread criticism and questions on the values with which the team from down-under plays its sport. But Ponting thinks there isn't as much wrong as is believed to be.
"We know the reason why a lot of that stuff started, don't we? A lot of stuff has been made about the culture of the team on the back of one issue from South Africa," said Ponting on Sydney Morning Herald, "There wasn't anything spoken about the culture of the team before that, really. We know where it started. I have been around the team a lot - not a lot but a fair bit - since the Australian summer last year with the T20 triangular (series) and then the five one-dayers in England. The culture of the Australian cricket team has always been very, very good and very strong."
"Yes, there might have been a few little occasions where things got out of hand and over the top but the thing you have to remember about Australian cricket is you can do everything right for 10 years and then one have one little incident and all of a sudden it is back to the ugly Aussies again." he noted and reiterated, "Australian cricket has been fighting that trend and that label for 30 or 40 years."
Ponting, who was Australia's most successful captain, is keeping faith in the current set up of leader Tim Paine and head coach Justin Langer to carve out a new legacy and earn back the lost respect.
He said, "But I can guarantee you. with Justin being in control and the people that he will have around him, and Tim Paine as captain, things will be vastly different going forward," and added, "As a spectator now, and the people you bump into in the street, people were starting to demand that things changed a little bit. That's the bottom line with it all. For an ex-Australian player and ex-Australian captain, I want the Australian cricket team to be the most-loved sporting team in the world, not just in Australia."
"I want to go down the street and have people say how much they are enjoying the team play." he signed off by saying, "Hopefully, the success comes along with that. What I know, as I said, is that the right people are in the right places right now to make sure that happens."
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)