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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
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

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York