Ricky Ponting dropped from Australia one-day squad

 

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting could be set to call time on his international career after his axing from the one-day side.

Ponting, 37, was today omitted from the squad for the Commonwealth Bank Series matches against India and Sri Lanka after a poor run of form - he made just 18 runs from five innings - and immediately called a press conference in Sydney tomorrow morning at which he is expected to outline his future plans.

In announcing the news Ponting had been left out, national selector John Inverarity hinted he would struggle to reclaim a place in the side in any format given the calendar.

He said: "He made a double-century in his last Test match and we are hoping he remains available for Test cricket, but there can be no guarantees.

"Ricky is going to consider his future over the next couple of days and talk it over with his family and with his manager. He's wondering whether he retires completely from ODI cricket...and then of course there are the implications for Test cricket.

"For a man who plays cricket like Ricky has over the last 15 or more years, he has been an integral part of the team in ODIs and Test matches.

"If he drops out of the ODIs then there is a possible lack of momentum there. There are three Tests in the West Indies, then as I understand it no more Test matches until October-November."

The Tasmanian's omission comes just a day after he led the side once more, having been asked to deputise for two games in the absence of current skipper Michael Clarke.

And if he does decide to quit, he will go down as one of Australia's greatest players.

He has played 162 Tests, scoring 13,200 runs at an average of 53.44. On the one-day stage he has played in 375 games for his country, scoring 13,704 runs at an average of 42.

"The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport," added Inverarity.

"Ricky's record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories.

"Ricky's contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing room is acknowledged by all.

"He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this."

Clarke returns to the squad for the two CB Series clashes following a hamstring injury, while pace bowler Ryan Harris replaces Mitchell Starc. Shane Watson is also back following injury.

Inverarity went on to add that Matthew Wade was now the side's preferred wicket-keeper, and said that the 24-year-old would be touring the West Indies alongside out-of-form Test gloveman Brad Haddin.

PA

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