Sydney, Dec. 29: Not only does he have to contend with becoming the first Australian cricket captain to lose the Ashes three times, but now Ricky Ponting is being blamed for everything from bad coffee and Justin Bieber to Queensland floods and climate change.
At lunch time today the Twitter hashtag #itspontingsfault was the social networking site''s top trending topic in Australia.
The hashtag began around lunch time yesterday when brisbanetimes. com. au blogger John Birmingham tweeted: "Australia''s wretched #ashes has forced me to take solace in leftover Christmas pudding and custard for dinner. If I get fat#itspontingsfault."
In the following hours, thousands of Birmingham''s followers jumped on the bandwagon, using the hashtag to blame the Australian skipper for their own woes, be it having to work between Christmas and New Year, Collingwood winning the 2010 AFL premiership or for having indigestion.
Ponting was even accused of being responsible for eccentric North Queensland politician Bob Katter.
He copped the blame for Qatar winning the World Cup 2022, for Stephanie Gilmore being bashed at Tweed Heads, slow wi-fi, burnt toast, lame tweets and no beer.
For one Twitter user, Ponting''s poor performance was the reason "my wife won''t drive to Maccas and get me a sundae" and for another: "I just lost a game of Monopoly to a six-year-old. #itspontingsfault."
This morning as the England team dismissed Australia at the MCG, the tweets with the #itspontingsfault hashtag rolled on in.
In announcing the game''s outcome, Channel Nine Brisbane tweeted: "England retains the Ashes. Is it too much to say #itspontingsfault?"
One twitter user blamed Ponting for stubbing their toe, another for having a snotty nose and a woman tweeted it was his fault that her husband was "in a foul mood."
"Bad weather in Hawaii" and " snowstorms in the USA" - #itspontingsfault
"Those bastards with small cars who tease you into thinking there''s a parking space." #itspontingsfault
"I cut myself shaving and #itspointingsfault because he set such a bad example as captain. #itspontingsfault"
Meanwhile, Birmingham''s complaints continued, with "sh*tty West End coffee" and "having to see some dialogue driven character study at the movies w/ wife. No guns or ''splosions" also being Ponting''s fault.
The Australian captain did generate some sympathy though.
"I think it''s quite horrible that people are using #itspointingsfault to make jokes just because of one game. Makes me feel sorry for the guy," said one tweeter.
There was also: "The Australian team just sucks, don''t blame it on the man."
But most were keen to bag the captain as it was "more fun". One tweeter''s offering: "You could blame the Aussie selectors but it''s more fun #itspontingsfault"
I know that this twitter page is a joke; however people would to well to remember that this current state of Aust cricket has been rapidly approaching for about 2-3 years now - Ponting has been the one who has (pretty much single-handedly) held the downfall at bay for all this time since the retirements of the once in several lifetimes greats - to lose Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden, Langer et al in such rapid succession does not augur well for any team.
Yep his time is probably now up, but it''s a shame most fickle Australian "supporters" (term used loosely) will choose to only remember him for this current state instead of the amazingly wonderful contribution he has made to the Australian cricket team throughout his career. Waugh, Taylor etc would not have had any more success with this current team than Ponting has - all the players are doing their best bu we simply don''t have the standard of talent to work with at the moment.
AN - December 29, 2010, 4:18PM
Ponting (says) he supports his players; his players feel compelled to support Ponting; Aust Cricket won''t tell him it''s time to go; the selectors just maintain the status quo ... nothing changes, 3-4 years of getting worse. Until Form in the criteria, not fame, until players and the captain are selected on performance not history, the in-Club will continue to drag Aussie cricket lower. Answer: National side, "A" side and "B" side - poor performance down you go until you show form worthy of upgrading.
Eagle-eye Sydney - December 29, 2010, 4:24PM
@AN. You''re sounding like a sore loser. Maybe it''s just coincidence, but after Perth I only heard about beating England, now its about losing to south Africa. (ANI)