Holding slams Ponting over book controversy
West Indies great Michael Holding criticised former Australian captain Ricky Ponting on Friday over revelations in his autobiography that prompted a public spat with current skipper Michael Clarke.
Holding, now a prominent cricket commentator, said it was "unfortunate" that Ponting had broken the traditional dressing room code of silence in the book, which was released last month.
The former paceman said it was acceptable for ex-players to reveal "a few little titbits" in their memoirs but they should not air dirty laundry in public. "You don't want to be starting all this animosity after you've finished playing," he told New Zealand radio station Livesport.
"You've played cricket with some great guys, some not that great, but that doesn't mean that you come out into the open and wash your laundry, keep it behind doors. What is gone is gone."
Holding said publishers encouraged controversy in books because it boosted sales but players needed to be careful about what they revealed. "I don't believe in that, you shouldn't be writing a book purely for making money," he said.
"You should be writing books to let the public know a few little things that they wouldn't have known under normal circumstances when you were playing."
Ponting's book raised concerns about Clarke's attitude when he was deputy captain and offered an unfavourable appraisal of his ill-fated relationship with bikini model Lara Bingle.
It has been criticised by another former Australian captain Mark Taylor and by spin great Shane Warne, who suggested Ponting was jealous of Clarke.
"Sometimes you have to take what Shane Warne says with a little pinch of salt," Holden said. "Warney and Michael Clarke are very, very good friends and Warne sometimes lets his emotions carry him away."
Ponting has rejected suggestions he betrayed the sanctity of the dressing room, saying his autobiography was motived by a desire to tell his side of the story, not sell books.
Holding, who commentated on England's home Ashes victory earlier this year, backed Alastair Cook's side to win the return series in Australia beginning this month.
"I'm not too sure the results will be a lot different," he said. "I think England basically have a better team. "But I think you'll see better cricket in that the pitches will be better... they should suit the fast bowlers."
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