Sat, Aug 12, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Ponting rejects `too matey' criticism


Ricky Ponting has rejected claims his Australia cricket team lost the last Ashes series because it was too friendly with the English players, and vowed to take a similar approach as he tried to regain the famous urn this southern summer.

Australia selector Merv Hughes recently made the ``too matey'' remark.

But Ponting disputed it, saying last year's series in England produced some controlled aggression.

"When we are really aggressive we play our best cricket and you can still be aggressive with a smile on your face," he was quoted saying yesterday by the ABC radio. "We'll get out and do that all again, and this time I can pretty much guarantee the result will be different."

Australia lost its long stranglehold on the Ashes in England last year, going down 2-1 in a five-test series after winning the opening match at Lord's.

Stung by the loss, Australia has not been closely challenged in a series since. England's form, meanwhile, has been up and down.

The Ashes series starts at Brisbane on Nov. 23.

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