Ponting fined over umpire row

With his team struggling on the field against England, Ponting argued with Aleem Dar for some time and then spoke with the other umpire Tony Hill after Kevin Pietersen was adjudged not to have edged the ball for a caught behind.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Ponting pleaded guilty to a charge of "arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision."

Ponting's fine equates to around USD 5,400.

The ICC said the matter had been determined by match referee Ranjan Madugalle without the need for a full hearing.

"Ricky's actions as captain of his country were unacceptable," Madugalle said in a statement.

"A captain is expected to set the example and not get involved in a prolonged discussion with the on-field umpires and question their decision.

"While pleading guilty to the charge, Ricky understood that the discussion went far too long.

"He apologised for his action and stated that he has nothing but respect for the umpires and his on-field actions were not intended to show disrespect to Aleem Dar or Tony Hill."

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland was reluctant to pass judgment on Ponting's on-field behaviour, which drew a disapproving slow-handclap from sections of the crowd.

"At this stage, I wouldn't be saying whether it's good for the game, let's see what the actual substance was," he said, speaking before the ICC announced its decision.

"The match referee is effectively the tribunal, if you like. If there is a report, he's the one who hears the report and makes a judgement on it."

Pietersen was on 49 when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin persuaded Ponting to go for a review.

But "hot spot" replays showed no edge and Pietersen stayed, much to the annoyance of Ponting, who argued with both umpires and had sharp words with Pietersen about the decision, believing he had made contact with the ball.

Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle weighed in as Ponting clashed with Dar, wagging a finger at the Pakistani match official.

It was the first of two reviews to go against Australia before tea on the second day of the fourth Test at the MCG, with Dar calling on the third umpire to rule that Matt Prior was not out.

Pietersen had played and missed at a Ryan Harris delivery, with the ball going between bat and pad.

Wicketkeeper Haddin appeared to be the only Australian player who appealed for the "catch" and persuaded Ponting to call for the review.

Replays of the "hot spot" technology showed a bright mark at the bottom of Pietersen's bat, but not near where the ball had passed his bat.

Pietersen only made two more runs before Siddle trapped him lbw.

In another technology intervention in the last over before Monday's tea break, Prior had made five and was starting to walk from the crease after he nicked Mitchell Johnson to the slips.

But Dar called Prior back and the uncertain umpire called for a video review, which showed Johnson had over-stepped for a no-ball.

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