Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is currently associated with a local TV channel in Australia and on Saturday he made a surprising statement. The World Cup winning captain, during a pre-match show, said that Glenn McGrath was the toughest player he had captained during his tenure.
The Australians are currently playing the South Africans in the first of the three-match Test series at WACA in Perth. While some of the former cricketers have taken up commentary duties for the highly rated series, the likes of Ricky Ponting and Michael Vaughan have been analyzing the series away from the ground.
The former skippers were reviewing the second day's play on a local channel in Australia when both the players were asked about the most difficult players they have captained. Ponting initially tried to duck away from the question but came up with a cheeky answer.
"I'm going to make a bit of a joke of it - Glenn McGrath was the hardest player for me to captain," he was quoted as saying in the Cricket Australia website.
Ponting, who captained Australia in 168 Tests, said that McGrath was that one guy in the team who loved bowling long spells. He said, "Everyone will sit back and think that he's the easiest, that you give him the ball, he comes on and he'd do a job for you. And yes, that's right, but at some stage, you had to try and get the ball off him as well."
The right-hander claimed that McGrath used to get agitated whenever he was taken off from a spell in Test cricket. He further added that the bowler would keep asking him for an explanation for taking him off. The Cricket Australia website quoted him as saying, "I'd tell him 'that's enough mate, have a rest' and for the next 10 or 15 minutes he'd be walking around with his sleeve over his mouth calling me every name under the sun."
The 41-year old further stated that McGrath would take all his anger out on the crowd by abusing them. "He'd stand down at fine leg and he'd be abusing all the crowd just because he wasn't bowling," he said.
Ponting said that McGrath's actions were acceptable as the bowler would always look for wickets be it any format of the game. Ponting and McGrath won five Ashes series and three World Cups as teammates. While the legendary bowler hung his boots in 2007, the former skipper quit international cricket in 2012.