The infamous “Monkeygate” scandal took place during the India’s tour of Australia in 2008. This controversy made a strain in the relationship between the two countries. Ricky Ponting, who was the captain of the Australian team, has shared his experience in which he has confessed that the sequence of events which followed was the lowest point of his captaincy stint.
“We all felt let down by the end result (of the the Monkeygate controversy). The fact that it got in the way of the way we played our cricket for the next Test match was probably the most disappointing thing,” Ponting told on the sky sports podcast.
“So we go over there and India at Perth is game we expect to win and then we lost the match and after that the next few days things just got worse and worse,” he went on to add.
“Monkeygate was probably the lowest (point in career as captain). Losing the 2005 Ashes series was tough but I was in full control of that. But I wasn’t in full control of what happened during the Monkeygate thing.”
“It was a low point and also because it dragged on for so long. I remember coming off the ground during the Adelaide Test match and speaking to Cricket Australia officials about the case because the hearing was at the end of the Adelaide Test match.”
The former Australian captain Ricky ponting states that he had cleared the remaining tension with Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble during his IPL stint with the Mumbai Indians.
“Monkeygate”- How it begins
The Australians were convinced the ‘Turbanator’ had taunted Symonds with the word “monkey”, a racially offensive insult.
Matthew Hayden let Harbhajan know what he thought of it. Australia skipper Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke joined in as well. Umpire Mark Benson was alerted by the Australians of Harbhajan’s alleged racist remark, and the former has a word with the Indian. At the other end is an unperturbed Tendulkar, notching up another priceless century.
Post Match Interview
At the post-match press conference, Kumble uttered the immortal words: “Only one team was playing in the spirit of the game, that’s all I can say.”
Australia’s boorish on-field behaviour, which had been drowned by unprecedented success over a decade, perhaps reared its ugliest head. Dailies across the country admonished their side. Their former players, too, pulled back no punches. Pacer Jeff Thomson’s views were probably the most scathing of them all.
“The Aussies act like morons and bullies and they can’t cop criticism from someone like myself,” the pace ace said. “I think it was appalling that none of the Australians went over and shook Anil Kumble’s hand at the end of the Sydney Test. They just played up and carried on like idiots like they normally do.”