Australia news March 29, 2011

Ricky Ponting steps down as captain


Ricky Ponting has stepped down as Australia's captain in Tests and ODIs following their quarter-final exit from the World Cup but will be available for selection as a batsman in both formats. Ponting made the announcement at the SCG on Tuesday, and backed Michael Clarke to take over the leadership of the team.

Ponting said the World Cup exit had prompted his decision and that "no one has tapped me on the shoulder asking me to go."

"I have resigned as captain of both the Test and one-day Australian teams. I will continue to play and am available for selection in both the one day and Test teams," Ponting said. "I have thought long and hard about what Australian cricket needs. Now is the right time for the next captain to assume the responsibility for both the Test and one-day teams. We have to be doing everything we can to win back the Ashes in 2013-14 and the World Cup in 2015. It is highly unlikely that I will be still playing so it is the right decision for Australian cricket that the next captain now be appointed. This will give him the opportunity to create his own direction and legacy.

"Today is a new start for me and I am very excited about the future. I will give my complete support to our new captain and continue to do my best to set the best possible example for my team-mates and emerging cricketers alike."

Any suggestions that Ponting might have been told it was time to quit as captain were categorically denied by the man himself, and his words rang true next to the obvious - and perhaps not always constructive - deference of the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch, coach Tim Nielsen and CA chief executive James Sutherland.

"I'll absolutely go on record here as saying I've had no tap on the shoulder from anybody; this is a decision that's been made wholly and solely by me and people close to me, my family first and foremost," Ponting said.

"If the decision was too late I think I would've had the selectors and my bosses in Cricket Australia telling me a while ago they felt my time might've been up.

"I can go on record again and say I have never received that sort of message from the selectors or from Cricket Australia."

Ponting expressed his desire to travel to Bangladesh for three limited-overs matches next month. The team for the tour will not be named until Wednesday, but Ponting's announcement should allow Clarke to assume the captaincy on the tour, 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. With the benefit of a day's reflection, he decided that now was the best time to go. At 36, Ponting believed he can still enjoy the type of renaissance that has sustained Sachin Tendulkar in recent times.

Ponting held the Australian Test and one-day captaincy since he took over from Steve Waugh. He led Australia in 77 Tests of which 48 were wins, the most for any captain. He also captained Australia in a record 228 ODIs and won 164, including two World Cups in 2003 and 2007. Ponting's fortunes as captain, however, waned along with those of the team as a series of retirements weakened its resources. His Test captaincy flamed out in the 3-1 home Ashes defeat in 2010-11 and his one-day reign ended with elimination from the World Cup.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muthuvel on March 31, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Best of Ricky, now that captaincy is not an issue you can focus on your batting like Sachin.

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    I am sure Ponting has taken this decision to preserve win-loss ratio under his captaincy, knowing where it will head from here.

  • Dummy4 on March 30, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    whe luvvvvvvv u ricky frm bangladesh u r da best captain ever played the game period aussie selector did a big mistake...........

  • Dummy4 on March 30, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    I think Clarke is just an sacrifice until they get their cricket back on track with some good talent.. good luck Clarkie.. u will need a whole lot of it.

  • Sebastian on March 30, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Ricky is a great player no doubt, but seriously doubt about his captain skills, he should be a good captain but not a great as stats show. as achintyas menstioned here, check his stats with and witout ( after Haydon, Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath retired).

    i feel he has done a careful study of the situation and understood he cannot continue till next world cup, so definitly old guys will ask for his blood very soon and will ask him to retire. so it is better to resign now and continue as a player.

    he should be also inspired by Sachin, the way sachin plays now, freely and he enjoys the game.

    all the best Ricky, you are one of the great batsman Australia has ever produced.


  • Andrew on March 30, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    @ muski - spot on matey. Right or wrong their MUST be a big QUESTION mark over the players you have highlighted as stepping into the breach when the big guns retire. I also think that Sehwag may not finish his career strongly, - he looks in too much of a hurry! Take a look at the Sth Africa tour, came out with a 1all draw, but the stand out batting performances were SRT & Laxman. I think "Pujarra?" - the batsmen that made a couple of half centuries against Oz in the last test played - he looks very composed.

  • ROSHAN on March 30, 2011, 3:04 GMT

    True leadership exhibited by RICKY Example to others in the Cricket World once again. But not him, he should be recalled and he should be in the game He cannot be a dying player anymore But lets start with his immediate wish in next 3 tours Roshan Goonewardene

  • shafeen on March 30, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    A team is only as good as its captain. Ricky Ponting set all kinds of records as a captain - both in ODI and tests - because the his team was Bloody good. When the team was weakened by the loss of several key players, he carried on, and his record suffered. Will team miraculously improve because there's a new captain? will it skybomb because he is not? NO, NO. NO. There are many things about Ponting I don't like, but the cut against him to me is just cricketing pettiness. I hope he receives the credit he deserves as a player for all h is great contributations, and isn't knocked for life for what NO ONE ELSE could have done anything different from what he did do.

  • shiva on March 30, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    You will be remembered for the way you snatched the 2007 World cup from Sharad Pawar. Good luck Ponting as a batsman, we will see you this year end at the Lion's Den

  • shiva on March 29, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    End of a dominating era... But ponting need to understand that anyone on the australian team could have captained the team with Hayden, Gilly, Warne and McGrath and get the world cup. We expected more from you to get this team atleast to the semifinals. Sad end.

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