Ponting says over-rate stress was his toughest time in cricket

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Sydney, Nov. 13 : Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting says the current over-rates controversy ranks with last summer's Sydney Test turmoil as his toughest time in cricket.

"(Sydney) was probably the most difficult time I've had to deal with as an Australian captain and an Australian player and I'm probably confronting the other one right at the moment," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying.

He was speaking following an impassioned defence of the beleaguered skipper by Cricket Australian chief executive James Sutherland in the wake of the over-rates ruckus and 2-0 series loss in India.

"His (Ponting's) batting speaks for itself but given the events of this week perhaps some need reminding that he is already a cricketing great," said Sutherland.

"He is a player who has always put the team first and he has never measured success by personal statistics. Any suggestion that he put himself first ahead of the team last week in Nagpur is completely off beam and can only come from someone who does not know him or understand him," he added.

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