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Verbal duels part of the game: Ponting

Ricky Ponting

Mumbai:  Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who in his playing days led a team known for its sledging, today said on-field verbal duels was part and parcel of the game but it should be within limits.

“I believe it is part of the game but players probably do have to understand where the line is and make sure they are not overstepping the line. That’s all we can say to our players, that’s all we are worried about,” said Mumbai Indians chief coach Ponting at a media conference here.

“We are worried about MI, we are not worried about what’s happened in the World Cup or what’s happened before that. We just have to make sure that we handle our players well and that our players understand the way we want to play our game and the way we want them to play the game. That’s about the same,” he added.

“Yes, the same. Exactly,” retorted MI captain Rohit Sharma, when asked about on-field verbal duels. Sharma attended the IPL match officials’ conclave here yesterday and had a brief discussion there.

Asked what he said at the conclave, Sharma said, “We just had a very brief discussion about how to run the game. It was in the interest of the game. Whatever we came out with, I am sure it was for the betterment of the game. It was a brief discussion. I cannot tell in public the issues that were raised. We discussed on those issues that you will know along the course of the tournament,” said Sharma.

MI team manager Rahul Sanghvi said the players have been told to follow the IPL guidelines on anti-corruption issues which had rocked the tournament in the past.

“When it comes to anti corruption issues, we just follow the guidelines. There are anti corruption briefings conducted by the IPL before the tournament starts and obviously those briefings put a lot of things in place and the boys know what is to be done. So I don’t have any role to play in it, it is all done by IPL, we just follow the guidelines,” said the former India left-arm slow bowler.

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