Former captain Ricky Ponting has shown concern that team Australia is going through the pain caused by the tragic death of Phillip Hughes which has become the biggest mental battle for them.
Australia is to play the first match of the four-test series in Adelaide from Tuesday, within a few days of their former team mate Hughes’s funeral, which has proved to be a one real big personal and collective loss for each and every player of team Australia.
Ponting has expressed his views in a column in The Australian newspaper. He wrote, “None of the things that have happened before compare to what the players are dealing with after Phillip’s death. We are in uncharted waters and the boys are going to have to dig deeper than they ever have. This will be the biggest mental battle any of them will have encountered, but I have faith they can pull itf. In a perfect world I want to see the team come together and go out there as one, but I understand that some might find it impossible. For cricket’s sake, I hope that they can all do it.”
Ponting, a legendary Australian cricketer, retired in 2012 after 168 tests having made glorious records. He recollected playing with a heavy heart after deaths in his own family and said,
“Cricket at the highest level was a job that has to be done no matter what’s going on in your life. Like everyone in the community, cricketers have to show up at work and suck it up when things are rough. Your wife or kids can be sick, there might be trouble at home, but too often this can happen when you are on the road and there’s not even the chance to drop in at the end of the day and sort out the mess.”
It is pertinent to add that ever since Hughes died from a severe head injury after being struck by a short-pitched ball, a debate that whether “bouncers” should be banned or further limited has already begun worldwide. A lot of speculations are circulating around, but Ponting has given full support to the statement made by Former Australia fast bowler Merv Hughes who has categorically said that players should send in a short ball first thing in the Adelaide test.
Ponting emphasized, “I would love to see a bouncer bowled as the first ball in Adelaide on Tuesday. It would clear the air, announce that the game is on, and if that’s done I think it might have a healing effect on everybody. Or at least start the healing.”