Harvey blames Ponting for Oz sledging

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Sydney, Jun 15 (UNI) Former Australian great Neil Harvey has blamed current skipper Ricky Ponting for the sledging and bad blood that cropped up during the home series against India earlier this year.

''I disliked their behaviour in the last Indian series (last summer) and I told them via the press,'' Harvay was quoted as saying by 'The Age'. ''I blame the captain because he is in charge. He should get them all together and say, 'We have got an image, and we have got to abide by it'. But they don't,'' The 79-year-old Harvey was speaking on the 60th anniversary of Australia's tour of England in 1948 of which he was the youngest member.

He had lashed out at the Aussies for their behaviour during the controversial India tour which had prompted a fierce backlash from Ricky Ponting. But Harvey was not concerned about Ponting's comments.

''I have said my bit about their behaviour, which Ponting doesn't like. Ponting's retort was that nobody listens to Neil Harvey any more, anyway,'' he said. ''If that's the way he feels, then good luck to him.

''I don't really give a stuff what he says.'' ''I find it very strange that he sometimes comes out and says that they do have to improve their behaviour. So why don't they do it?'' he added.

Harvey said he hoped that the Australians could start mending their reputations at home during the next summer against New Zealand and South Africa.

The former left-hand batsman critised ex-captain Ian Chappell for introducing sledging to Australian cricket.

''All of this sledging garbage started in (Ian) Chappell's era and it has got progressively worse as the years have gone by,'' he stated.

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