Country comes first, says Ponting as he skips IPL

While England's talisman Andrew Flintoff looks as though he may have to play through the pain in the Indian Premier League during the three-week window he has available, the Australia captain Ricky Ponting has announced he will miss the tournament because of his international commitments.

The 34-year-old had been signed up for a short spell with the Kolkata Knight Riders, but will now miss the competition in order to concentrate on the upcoming Ashes series. "I have made the decision I will not play in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition this year," Ponting wrote in his column in The Australian newspaper.

"My country comes first and there was no way I could give my all for Australia if I used the only two-week break we have to go and play in India."

Ponting, who is currently touring South Africa with the national team, was one of a number of Australians set to turn out in the IPL, which starts on 10 April. He had been signed up to play for Kolkata during a two-week window in May between the conclusion of Australia's five-match one-day series against Pakistan and the start of the World Twenty20.

The Ashes series against England will then get under way soon after the World Twenty20, and Ponting admits the IPL would have been too much of an interruption in a busy international programme.

"I could have played for two weeks in the IPL and in many ways that is not satisfactory, not for the Knight Riders and not for Australian cricket either," he continued. "Our priorities are to be in the best physical and mental shape we can be for the Australian side and it doesn't get any more important than the games we've got coming up.

"We have something to prove to the South Africans and the world, after that it is the ICC Twenty20 championship and then we have the Ashes and nobody needs to be told how much that matters."

Ponting added he is planning to play for Kolkata in the 2010 tournament.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried