Ricky Ponting backs Australia squad rotation

Australian opener Phil Hughes (right) made his ODI debut in the first match against Sri Lanka © Getty Images

Sydney: Jan 11, 2013

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting backed the team’s policy of rotating players and considered it as part of the modern game.

The recently retired cricketer told the Sydney Morning Herald that the ”extreme” workload on international players will result in a rapid reduction of one-day internationals following the 2015 World Cup.

Ponting, who was today unveiled as the captain of the Prime Minister’s XI who will take on the West Indies at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on January 29, supported the decision to rest players like Michael Clarke, Matthew Wade and David Warner from the first two games of the ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey was promoted as the skipper of an ODI team that featured as many as three debutants.

Bailey had accused Australian cricket’s official broadcaster, Channel Nine, of not sufficiently promoting ODI cricket to secure a favourable broadcast deal, but Ponting said he sympathised with Channel Nine due to its massive investment in the sport.

”I can understand Channel Nine being disappointed – they pay a lot of money at the start of every year [and] want to see the best players’ play,” Ponting said. ”But I guess the way it’s sort of worked out this time, with a big chunk of our best team being out at once, you can understand they’d be making a fuss about it. I guess it’s up to Cricket Australia to explain to them the reasons behind it all and work it out.”

Ponting also said that domestic Twenty20 tournaments around the world, like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash, put extra pressure on international players.

”The workloads of international players these days is pretty extreme and those guys [Clarke, Warner and Wade] all need a break,” he said.

”Something cricket administrators, cricket teams, players and especially fans of the game have to understand is that it [resting players] happens in most other sports around the world.

”We will eventually see less one-day games. At the moment, I think we play six Twenty20 internationals a year and close to 30 one-dayers.

”I think that will flip in reverse once the next World Cup in Australia is over.”