Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting insists he would resist comeback call for the Ashes

 

If everything goes according to plan, Ricky Ponting will score a bucketload of runs for Surrey over the next two months and, in an Ashes summer in which Australian batsmen will find themselves under enormous pressure, spark a clamour for him to reconsider his retirement and come to the aid of his country, particularly if they suffer a run of injuries.

If his phone rings and it is Cricket Australia on the line, he will pick it up; and should he be asked his advice he will gladly give it. As Australia's most successful captain, he would feel it his duty. But that is as far as he will go. There will be no international comeback.

"They know my number and if I was asked for my input I'd give it, absolutely," Ponting said as he prepared to make his Surrey debut against Derbyshire, just along the A52 from where the Ashes showdown begins, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, on 10 July.

"But I will say now that I won't be playing Ashes cricket this summer no matter how many injuries they have. I'm very happily retired from international cricket. That's definite."

Since Ponting announced the end of his international career last December as one of only four batsmen in history to make in excess of 13,000 Test runs, he has been in sparkling form, scoring 911 runs at an average of 75.91 in Sheffield Shield cricket for Tasmania and captaining the victorious Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. The demand for his services will take him from Surrey direct to the West Indies to take part in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League.

But he insists the decision to quit international cricket is irreversible. "Cricket is about winning games and being good enough to help your team win games," he said. "I've been good enough at first-class level, I had a good season for Tasmania and I now hope to make a big contribution for Surrey. But I realised during my last Australia series, when I was playing well in the nets but couldn't transfer that form into the games, that my best wasn't good enough for international cricket any more."

Given that it meant passing up the chance to correct his two Ashes defeats in England it was a tough decision to take and he admits it will "feel strange" to be in England this summer and not be taking part.

"It will be strange once the Ashes gets under way but at the same time it is the best time to be in England. When England are doing well, the Ashes takes over everything. I'll be focused on playing for Surrey but I'm sure I'll have one small eye on what's going on at the Tests."

He accepts that England are favourites but rejects the notion of a one-sided contest. "It is going to be a great challenge, but I would say the current fast-bowling group would be as exciting as any I have seen in Australian cricket in the last 10 years and if the top-order batsmen can find a way to score runs I think this series might be quite close.

"There is a lot of negativity around on the back of a 4-0 loss in India but if you go back to the series against South Africa and my last Test match, if we had won that game we would have gone back to No 1 in the world."

Ponting's Surrey assignment takes in four YB40 games, nine Twenty20s and five in the Championship, at least one of which will see him line up for once alongside Kevin Pietersen. "I spoke to Kevin in Mumbai and again when I landed yesterday," he said. "I don't know him that well. When I played against him I didn't tend to engage with him much because he struck me as the kind of player who the more you engaged him the better he might play.

"You have an impression of someone from the way they play their cricket but then when you get to know them it can be vastly different. I think people are finding that out about me now compared with when I had my Australian captain's head on."

Suggested Topics
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
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

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star