Ponting denies retirement plans

Besieged Australia captain Ricky Ponting denied he plans to quit international cricket amid reports he was ready to walk away.

Ponting denies retirement plans

Ahmedabad: Mar 23, 2011

Besieged Australia captain Ricky Ponting denied he plans to quit international cricket amid reports he was ready to walk away.

The 36-year-old Ponting, who has been under intense pressure since the Ashes defeat, as well as for his controversial behaviour at the World Cup, on Wednesday said international retirement had never crossed his mind.

Earlier, Britain’s Daily Mail reported he planned to retire from the international scene at the end of World Cup and finish his career at an English county.

“I’ve never ever thought about retirement or where the finish line might be,” he told Australian media on the eve of the champions’ quarter-final against India.

“I’ve been trying to prepare myself as best I can as a player and lead the team as well as possible. For some reason, these retirement things keep popping up all the time.

“It looks like every few weeks now I’m having to answer that question. I’m enjoying it as much as ever. We’ve got a big game coming up against India that I’m looking forward to, and more importantly I’m looking forward to getting out there and performing well as a player.”

Ponting, who has been captain for nine years, was under pressure even before the World Cup, having earned the dubious distinction of becoming the only Australian skipper to fail to win the Ashes three times.

He has done himself no favours in India, taking a reprimand from the International Cricket Council after smashing a dressing-room TV in a fit of fury after being run out during Australia’s win over Zimbabwe.

He was also criticised for angrily throwing the ball to the ground after colliding with teammate Steven Smith during their victory over Canada, and for failing to walk in Saturday’s defeat to Pakistan.

Ponting admitted he had pondered a spell in English county cricket.

“I looked at trying to play some county cricket before the Sri Lankan tour this year, for the fact that I would have been coming off three months of no cricket and I thought we were going straight in to Test matches,” he said.

“That’s why my management had a look around a few of the counties to see if they were interested. As it worked out, our programs just didn’t line up.”

The retirement rumour came a day after a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which an unnamed Cricket Australia official was quoted as saying that Ponting faced a challenge at board level to retain the captaincy.

Ponting said he was keen to play on in Test and ODI cricket and if he was asked to step aside as leader to make way for Michael Clarke, it would not be an issue.

Earlier, Australian Cricketers’ Association chief Paul Marsh lashed out at talk that Ponting could be axed.

He was not impressed with the anonymous comments, particularly coming on the eve of the quarter-final against co-hosts India in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

“Firstly, if a senior official is going to make such inflammatory comments about our national captain, and one of this country’s greatest-ever players, how about having the guts to at least put your name to them,” he told the Herald.

“Secondly, the team is days away from one of its biggest games in recent memory and now they have to deal with the speculation and discussion surrounding these irresponsible comments.

“I’ve been scratching my head all day trying to work out why someone associated with CA would make these comments two days before a World Cup quarter-final.”

AFP

Ahmedabad: Mar 23, 2011

Besieged Australia captain Ricky Ponting denied he plans to quit international cricket amid reports he was ready to walk away.

The 36-year-old Ponting, who has been under intense pressure since the Ashes defeat, as well as for his controversial behaviour at the World Cup, on Wednesday said international retirement had never crossed his mind. Earlier, Britain’s Daily Mail reported he planned to retire from the international scene at the end of World Cup and finish his career at an English county.

“I’ve never ever thought about retirement or where the finish line might be,” he told Australian media on the eve of the champions’ quarter-final against India. “I’ve been trying to prepare myself as best I can as a player and lead the team as well as possible. For some reason, these retirement things keep popping up all the time.

“It looks like every few weeks now I’m having to answer that question. I’m enjoying it as much as ever. We’ve got a big game coming up against India that I’m looking forward to, and more importantly I’m looking forward to getting out there and performing well as a player.”

Ponting, who has been captain for nine years, was under pressure even before the World Cup, having earned the dubious distinction of becoming the only Australian skipper to fail to win the Ashes three times. He has done himself no favours in India, taking a reprimand from the International Cricket Council after smashing a dressing-room TV in a fit of fury after being run out during Australia’s win over Zimbabwe.

He was also criticised for angrily throwing the ball to the ground after colliding with teammate Steven Smith during their victory over Canada, and for failing to walk in Saturday’s defeat to Pakistan. Ponting admitted he had pondered a spell in English county cricket. “I looked at trying to play some county cricket before the Sri Lankan tour this year, for the fact that I would have been coming off three months of no cricket and I thought we were going straight in to Test matches,” he said.

“That’s why my management had a look around a few of the counties to see if they were interested. As it worked out, our programs just didn’t line up.” The retirement rumour came a day after a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which an unnamed Cricket Australia official was quoted as saying that Ponting faced a challenge at board level to retain the captaincy.

Ponting said he was keen to play on in Test and ODI cricket and if he was asked to step aside as leader to make way for Michael Clarke, it would not be an issue. Earlier, Australian Cricketers’ Association chief Paul Marsh lashed out at talk that Ponting could be axed. He was not impressed with the anonymous comments, particularly coming on the eve of the quarter-final against co-hosts India in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

“Firstly, if a senior official is going to make such inflammatory comments about our national captain, and one of this country’s greatest-ever players, how about having the guts to at least put your name to them,” he told the Herald. “Secondly, the team is days away from one of its biggest games in recent memory and now they have to deal with the speculation and discussion surrounding these irresponsible comments.

“I’ve been scratching my head all day trying to work out why someone associated with CA would make these comments two days before a World Cup quarter-final.”

AFP