Veteran cricket journalist Peter Lalor has opened up about a recent on-air sparring session he had with former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
Lalor, who is the chief cricket writer for The Australian found himself making his commentary debut for Channel 7 during the day-night Test in Adelaide, alongside veteran host Tim Lane.
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Things seemed to be going fine, until Lane and Lalor chastised Australian captain Tim Paine for opting against using a DRS review after an appeal.
The pair were critical of Paine’s somewhat hot and cold form with the decision review system, prompting Ponting to come to his fellow Tasmanian’s defence.
“Jeez you’re harsh, you blokes, very, very harsh. There was not even an appeal, hardly a reaction,” Ponting said.
“The DRS is brought in for the absolute howler, let’s get that right. If they thought that was out, there would have been more appeals and everything out there.
“That’s just one that — it wasn’t even an option to be reviewed as far as I’m concerned.”
Lalor quickly disagreed with Ponting, suggesting players were highly paid and having the ability to get these decisions right was a key aspect of that.
When Lane, sensing things had become a little awkward, made a quip about the exchange making headlines, Lalor had a terse response.
“Yeah, ‘Ricky Ponting tries to defend Cricket Australia again and his mate Tim Paine’.”
Peter Lalor ‘embarrassed’ by Ponting stoush
Speaking to the ABC’s Grandstand Cricket Podcast, Lalor said he regretted how the exchange had gone down, revealing it had sparked confusion among mutual friends of the pair.
“That was terrible,” Lalor said about the exchange.
“It was just because I’m stupid, to be honest.
“I can’t help it, it’s not my fault. I was born stupid, I really can’t do much about that.
“It was my first time in there on air, in the Seven commentary box where the great men are.
“I thought, ‘I know the first thing (Ponting) will do, he’ll get me on the backfoot’. You know his style, he’s very competitive.”
Ponting and Lalor, who the latter insisted are actually long-time friends, had to answer for the tense moment off-air later.
Lalor revealed both men’s wives called them, somewhat confused by what was an undoubtedly awkward moment between the pair.
“It sounded terrible. Rick’s wife rang him and said, ‘Why are you fighting with Peter?’ And my wife rang me and said the same.
“And I’m embarrassed to be honest. I don’t know why I’m embarrassed, because God knows I’ve done worse things than that in my life.
“It didn’t come across well.”
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