Australia news March 29, 2011

Ponting expected to resign

Ricky Ponting is expected to announce his resignation as Australian captain later on Tuesday. Time has been reserved at the SCG for a "major announcement involving a senior Australian player" at 1pm Sydney time.

The team for the Australia tour of Bangladesh is not expected to be named until Wednesday, but Ponting's announcement should allow Michael Clarke to assume the captaincy on the trip, before difficult assignments against Sri Lanka and South Africa later in the year.

On his arrival home from an unsuccessful World Cup defence, Ponting had said he was prepared to give up the captaincy and also move down the batting order if it was in the interests of the Australian team.

"If that is what they and I believe is the best way forward for Australian cricket, that's the way it has always been," Ponting said, "Whatever I have done in the role to this date has always been with Cricket Australia backing - it is not as though I pick myself as captain. I am picked as captain every tour we have been on for the past six or seven years and thoroughly enjoyed that.

"But if there is someone out there better and more suited to the role than me right now then I have no problems at all about that."

Glancing towards Bangladesh, Ponting was adamant in his enthusiasm for the sort of tour he might have been rested from in earlier years. "I will go to Bangladesh if selected, the team hasn't been picked yet, and I will look forward to that tour then have a decent break after that to prepare for Sri Lanka and South Africa and the Australian summer.

"As I have said for a number of months now I have never seen a finish line, I have never come up with a time or a date or a game that might be my last. What I want to do is focus my time and energies to be the best player I can be."

At 36, Ponting believes he can still enjoy the type of renaissance that has sustained Sachin Tendulkar in recent times.

"I will know the right time for me not to be playing but I haven't found that time just yet; I guess with making runs in this last game and getting that good feeling back about my batting again might be the kick start for a bit of a Tendulkar-type rebirth if you like."

Ponting has held the Australian Test and limited-overs captaincy since he took over from Steve Waugh in 2004, beginning his tenure with a 3-0 defeat of Sri Lanka. But his fortunes have waned along with those of the team as a series of retirements weakened its resources, culminating in the humiliation of a 3-1 home Ashes defeat in 2010-11.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments