Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Melbourne November 2, 2010

Ponting to miss first ODI against Sri Lanka


Ricky Ponting will miss Australia's first one-day international against Sri Lanka in Melbourne on Wednesday after the death of his grandmother in Tasmania. Michael Clarke will captain the side in the first of this week's three ODIs but Ponting will be available for the second match at the SCG on Friday.

"I won't be playing tomorrow's game," Ponting said at the MCG on Tuesday. "My grandmother down in Launceston has passed away on the weekend. The funeral is down in Launceston tomorrow. I'll be flying out tomorrow morning to attend the funeral and then flying straight back to the ground tomorrow afternoon."

Ponting sat out of Australia's recent one-dayers in India and has not played an ODI since the series against England finished in July. Last time Clarke captained Australia in a home ODI, he made 98 opening the batting in a loss to New Zealand at the MCG.

The Australians have not confirmed a starting line-up for the first ODI after their training session on Tuesday was interrupted by rain. However, the Tasmanian spinner Xavier Doherty is set to make his international debut, a week after taking a five-wicket haul in the Sheffield Shield on the same ground.

"There's no doubt that he's been probably the best-performed spinner in Australia in the shorter forms of the game for the last few years now," Ponting said of his state team-mate Doherty. "He's become a match-winner for Tassie in that period of time. He's someone that I do know quite well.

"He's a boy from Launceston, the same as me, and it's great reward for someone like him having put in the hard yards for a long time, to finally get an opportunity to play. With Hauritz being away and having played that Shield game, Hauritz won't play the game tomorrow, so Doherty will play if the weather is not too inclement for the spinners."

Australia have regained several first-choice players including Mitchell Johnson and Michael Hussey, who sat out of Sunday's Twenty20 loss at the WACA. The hosts are aiming to turn around their losing streak across all formats, having not won an international match since the Lord's Test against Pakistan in July.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    Why are u sad Shaheryar. As a Pakistani you should be happy for the Lankans.

  • Dax on November 3, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    Who cares who is a better batsman except the few with little matter between the ears? What baffles me is that these comments are moderated and still these boring whos better than who get posted under this article. Leave the comments page for those who wish to pass on their best wishes to the Ponting family, not those who want to have the boring argument of who is better than who. Please!

  • Lalith on November 3, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    We need to investigate Aussie palyers are involved in match fixing in this 1t ODI.

  • Lalith on November 3, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    What a match!!! How can Aussies win in the Sri Lankan backyard. Look at the crowd. I saw only 2 Aussi flags. The match was palyed in Sri Lanka. Auusie players got bribes from TAB it is match fixing.

  • k on November 3, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    @LakmalPhysics, Sri Lankan batsmen are never mentioned in the same breath as Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara for one simple reason. They are not in their class. Sangakkara and Jayawardene might have impressive stats but so does Jordan. And she'll never top the most beautiful woman in the world awards will she?

  • Lalith on November 3, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    I think 239 is a good score under light. SL will struggle to score runs.

  • JIGNESH on November 3, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    @ Shahreyar Khan, so you said Srilanka only could win the match because Ponting is not in the first ODI. This is not 1980s Srilankan team. They are real fighters, and moreover; any thing can possible in cricket. For example, your rookie Pakistani team shockingly defeated South Africa two days ago. Has anyone knew Pakistan would win that game? Ponting is a good batsman and of course the best captain, but don't underestimate the Srilankan team. @ SLCricMonitor, why did you say typical bad comment from Indian when you replied to Shahreyar Khan? Shahreyar Khan is not an Indian. India is on No. 1 on the ICC test table and No.2 on ICC's ODIs table. They don't jealous of Srilankan team. "ONLY LOSER CAN BE JEALOUS". The teams are lower than Srilanka on the table of ICC could be jealous. Now you use your own brain who that could be.

  • Vishwanath on November 3, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    @Something_Witty: right on buddy. my sincerest condolences to the ponting family

  • Ruwani on November 2, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Today People talk about Ponting & Tendulkar. But In my opinion Brian Lara is better than both Sachin & Ponting. And by 2020 everyone will have to talk about 2 Sri Lankan batsmen. Guess WHO?

  • Vikram on November 2, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    This is a news item which speaks about bereavement. Peculiar to see people bringing Sachin versus Ponting debate into this. Let the cricketers at least shed a few tears in peace, without having to pander to public demand. so called fans are just amazing - but, then, irrationality has been the hallmark of the cricket fan, at least in India - and greatness is achieved by being great in spite of them . This is superbly documented in My request is to let the men in white have some semblance of peace at least in times of sorrow.

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