Image courtesy of: Courier Mail
“That [the scandal] was the start of the end for Andrew Symonds”
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has revealed that the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal was responsible for ending all-rounder Andrew Symonds’ international career.
The ‘Monkeygate’ scandal occurred during a Test match between Australia and India in Sydney in 2008 and involved Symonds and India spinner Harbhajan Singh getting into an altercation after Singh allegedly called Symonds a “monkey”.
Singh was initially slapped with a three-match ban, but that was overturned when he appealed.
“That [the scandal] was the start of the end for Andrew Symonds,” Ponting said. “His career spiralled downhill after that because I know for a fact that he didn’t feel like he could trust the people he needed to trust.”
Ponting also noted it was his duty to ensure racism was not tolerated in international cricket and added that he followed Cricket Australia’s “instructions to the letter” when dealing with the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal.
“I knew how powerful Indian cricket was, everyone did,” he said. “But at the same time, I know how powerful racism is in society as well.
“I was told every day, every week by Cricket Australia that we had to stamp it out of the game. And [when] it did [happen], I had to make a stand against it. I followed the instructions to the letter. I did everything I was expected to do. I know there are a lot of administrators in Cricket Australia who can’t say the same thing.”
Ponting also took the opportunity to speak about former head coach Mickey Arthur and stated that he simply failed to fit in with the rest of the team.
“Mickey might be one of the great cricket coaches in the world, but he wasn’t the guy, the personality, the coach that Australian cricket needed at that time,” Ponting said. “We needed to bring the old, hard-nosed Aussie way back, and that certainly wasn’t the way Mickey was trying to coach our team.”