Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting and veteran journalist Peter Lalor shared a tense exchange in the commentary box during the first Test on Thursday night.
Lalor, who works for The Australian and is one of the most respected cricket writers in the country, was invited on air during the third session but his stint didn’t last long.
The conversation between the Channel 7 commentators and Lalor quickly turned towards Australian captain Tim Paine’s failure to review a turned down appeal for Virat Kohli’s wicket.
Kohli looked to have been caught down the leg side after he gloved a delivery from spinner Nathan Lyon, but Paine opted against using DRS to challenge the “not out” decision.
Replays on hotspot showed a small white mark on Kohli’s glove, indicating the superstar batsman had in fact been caught in the first Test at Adelaide Oval.
Paine has a history of getting reviews wrong for Australia but Ponting downplayed the crucial moment in the match after it was criticised by Lalor and co-commentator Tim Lane.
Lalor referred to the Ashes last year, where Paine muffed several reviews that proved extremely costly, and said it simply wasn’t good enough in the modern game.
“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.”
Those comments triggered the veteran scribe Lalor who shot right back.
“Well, mate, they discussed it, I don’t know what they were talking about if it wasn’t for a review,” Lalor said.
“They’re paid a lot of money (to get it right).”
At this point, Lane interjected and said: “So we know what tomorrow’s lead story is.”
Lalor responded to the question by taking a direct swipe at Ponting.
“Yeah, ‘Ricky Ponting tries to defend Cricket Australia again and his mate Tim Paine’,” Lalor said.
The comment was followed by dead silence and Lalor was soon no longer on the air.
The tense exchange set social media alight, with many blasting Lalor for being rude but some agreed the journalist had a fair point.