Captain Ricky Ponting has hit back at Cricket Australia for letting the national team down during the infamous racism row involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds and also lashed out at eminent columnist Peter Roebuck for launching "over the top" criticism.
The skipper, currently under fire for losing Border Gavaskar Trophy series in India, wrote in his new book Captain's Diary 2008: A Season of Tests, Turmoil and Twenty20 that Roebuck "was scathing in his criticism" and "so far over the top it was ridiculous" following the drama in the controversy-marred Sydney Test against India.
"We made the mistake of assuming that those closest to us would automatically back us and realise that our cause was noble. When we didn't get that support, we were angry and felt totally let down," he said in the book which hit the local book stores on Wednesday.
Ponting also said he would defend his team-mates in the same fashion again without caring for his own reputation.
"I guess there was a certain naivety on my part in all of this; next time, I'll want to be just as sure about my convictions as I was this time, but I'll also want to be certain that the game is as committed to justice as I am before I put my reputation, and the reputation of my team-mates, on the line," he said.
"There is a part of me that says in future I should steer clear of 'cricket politics'... but I don't want to run away from my responsibilities. I couldn't then, and I won't in future. Trust me."
"I hope I never have to go through another year like it before my career is through," Ponting wrote for the 2007-08 season.
On Roebuck's column after the Sydney Test in January, Ponting said the noted writer treated the row as if 'World War III' had been started by the Australians.
"Peter Roebuck ... had written a lengthy piece that demanded I be sacked. The message in page one was loud and emphatic: Ponting Must Go.
"He was scathing in his criticism, which of course he is entitled to be, but to me he was so far over the top it was ridiculous.
"It was as if we'd started World War III. He suggested that the entire cricket community was 'disgusted' and 'distressed' by our performance, but that was hardly the feedback I was getting," he said.