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Ricky Ponting Run Out By Sub Fielder: What Really Happened During Gary Pratt Run Out in Ashes 2005?

Rishikesh Sharma
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Ricky Ponting Run Out By Sub Fielder: What Really Happened During Gary Pratt Run Out in Ashes 2005?

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who was run out 15 times out of a grand total of 287 Test innings throughout his career, was once run out by a sub fielder named Gary Pratt during the fourth Ashes 2005 Test at Trent Bridge. One of the greatest cricketing series, Pratt dismissing Ponting remains one of the most memorable moments of that engrossing five-match affair.

While there’s nothing special about a substitute fielder contributing in a wicket in the sport of cricket, Pratt finding Ponting short of his crease when the Australians were following-on resulted in a fuming Aussie skipper not even afraid to have a go at then England head coach Duncan Fletcher whilst returning back to the pavilion.

Although he had retired from international cricket by then, former England captain Nasser Hussain didn’t miss an opportunity to tease Ponting with respect to the same right after India all-rounder Axar Patel run-out Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc as a substitute fielder during the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2021-2023 final at The Oval.

Readers must note that both Hussain and Ponting are part of a star-studded commentary panel for the match. In the presence of former Australian batter Matthew Hayden, Hussain brought up the infamous Ponting dismissal which was followed by a hilarious reaction from the latter.

“We all know the feeling of getting run-out by a sub fielder [laughs].”

What Really Happened During Ricky Ponting Run Out By Sub Fielder?

With the series level 1-1 after the third Test, England had posted a massive total of 477 runs in the first innings. Australia, in reply, could just score 218 runs as former England pacer Simon Jones’s five-wicket haul didn’t even allow them to save the follow-on.

After England enforced a follow-on, the visitors got a fairly decent start where opener Justin Langer had scored a half-century. However, they still needed more than 100 runs to avoid an innings defeat when Ponting was dismissed after responding to a call for a single from Damien Martyn.

With Ponting watching the ball, Pratt was very quick in grabbing the ball and affecting a direct-hit from cover which sent Ponting home. Australia managed to avoid an innings defeat but Ponting’s wicket was a crucial one without a doubt.

Defending a 129-run target, Australian bowlers tried their best to reduce the home team to 116/7 at one stage. That said, England’s bowling duo of Ashley Giles and Mathew Hoggard kept their calm and won the game for England with 3 wickets in hand.

Ricky Ponting Wasn’t Comfortable With England’s Tactics

After his run-out, Ponting was understandably furious and was constantly sledging Fletcher while walking off. Ponting was annoyed by England’s tactics of using substitute fielders to rest specialist pacers especially after them bowling longer spells than usual. Not even a part of Durham’s squad back in the day, Pratt was a 12th man for his reputation of being one of the best English fielders.

Although using a substitute fielder is very much valid according to laws of cricket, Ponting was angry about the way England were exploiting the rule. In a conversation with cricket.com.au in 2019, he highlighted how the English team did that on a continuous basis throughout the series. Ponting had even lodged an official complaint with the match referee in the matter.

“I’d talked to the referee before the first Test match about the way we knew they were going to be handling their fast bowlers”.

Ricky Ponting’s Gift For Gary Pratt

In spite of losing the historic series 2-1, it didn’t require a lot of time for Ponting to move on from his Nottingham dismissal. During the same interview, he joked about wanting to throw Pratt out of the balcony when he came to meet them after England lifted the urn. Ponting, however, ended up gifting a pair of signed shoes to him.

“I actually signed a pair of my shoes and gave them to him and said ‘well done’.”

It is worth mentioning that it was England’s first Ashes series win after a long wait of 18 years. Despite a loss, Ponting still considers it as the best Test series he played in a career spanning for 17 years.

About the author

Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma

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An engineering graduate and an ardent sports fan, Rishikesh Sharma is covering cricket for three years now after not making peace with a corporate life and has written more than 5000 articles. While Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the sport, Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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