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
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
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

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution