Critics should wake up to realities of modern cricket : Ponting

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Melbourne, Jan 31 (UNI) Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said the people who crciticise his team for over-aggression should understand the competitive nature of modern day cricket.

''I think one thing that a lot of people overlook is that we are not playing cricket in the 1950s and a lot of people I think are still living in the 1950s,'' Ponting told Fairfax Radio Network.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Governor-General Michael Jeffery, and Neil Harvey have all criticised Australia's on-field behaviour in the acrimonious Test series against India Down Under.

Jeffery even called upon Australians to return to ''fundamental courtesies and good manners.'' Ponting said critics should understand that the game has become a profession now and cricketers do not play to have a bit of a bat and a bowl and having a laugh with the opposition.

''This is fully fledged international sport played by fully professional athletes and we are trying to do the best by the game and by the Australian public and the on-field umpires and everyone involved in the game,'' he said.

However, he admitted that during games players do get carried away and lose tempers at times but he added that his players have agreed to put up a better example of on-field behaviour.

''Sometimes tempers can get a little bit out of line but the challenge for us now, as I've said to the guys over the last few weeks, is just to take a little step back and have a little think about your actions before you actually act.'' Ponting came hard at Harvey, one of the five surviving members of Don Bradman's 1948 Invicibles' team, saying he has been a regular critic who would come up with negative reactions.

''He's also the first one that any journalist around Australia would ring because they know he is going to give a negative reaction to this team.

''And to tell the truth there is no one in our current team, and I don't think there's too many around Australia that actually sit back and listen to what Neil Harvey has got to say,'' he claimed.

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