Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 February 20, 2012

ODI axing may push Ponting towards retirement - Inverarity


Ricky Ponting's removal from the Australia ODI team has pushed the former captain closer to retirement, leaving him to decide whether or not he wants to go on as a Test batsman only. John Inverarity, the national selector, said there was obvious disappointment when he informed Ponting of the selection panel's decision, and admitted a retirement from all forms was now a possibility.

Inverarity and his fellow selectors, including the national captain Michael Clarke, are adamant that Ponting should go on as a Test batsman. However, they have acknowledged that by taking away limited-overs cricket they have left a vast gap in Ponting's life that had previously been filled by the game's most prevalent format. Having returned to Sydney from Brisbane, where he played the last of 375 ODIs, Ponting is expected to speak publicly about his future on Tuesday.

"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," Inverarity said. "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."

Beyond the West Indies tour, Australia's next scheduled Test matches are at home to South Africa and Sri Lanka, before keynote tours of India and England in 2013. Ponting has previously expressed a desire to return to England and win back the Ashes, but that may now look a very distant goal without the routine of ODIs to help keep him sharp and internationally drilled.

However, Ponting was second only to Clarke on the run tally for both sides in the recent Test series between Australia and India, and his collection of 544 runs made it his third-most prolific Test series of all time. He also has considerable value in the field, remaining one of the sharpest fielders in the world, and important experience in the dressing-room.

Whatever happens, Ponting's immediate Test future remains his own call. Inverarity was generous in his praise of how Ponting took the news of his one-day axing, relayed to him over the course of two phone calls either side of his flight back to Sydney.

"I spoke with Ricky this morning, I think how he took the news is a measure of the man. He was disappointed and understandably so, but he took it on the chin," Inverarity said. "He is a gem of a human being, a wonderful bloke, and he takes everything in his stride. He was under enormous pressure two or three months ago, and he never wavered from his dedication. He's a very resilient and wonderful human being.

"It is a tough decision but when you take over a position like this you know these things are on the cards. You don't put your heart to one side, but your head has got to dominate, and to the credit of the NSP, everyone holds Ricky in the highest regard, as a player and as a person, but we've got a decision to make, and we made a decision we believe is the right decision and the best decision in the interest of Australian cricket."

Edited by Brydon Coverdale

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • udaya on February 22, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    It happens to everybody & It had happened to 'all time legends' like Sir Viv. So Ricky you are no exception.

    You done your part for your country like very few people did. EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO AN END.

    PANTHER, Very few people - cricketers, could match your all time records. So, who has the LAST LAUGH. You Ricky.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    Though ponter behavior was bleak, he was no doubt one of the classic player. Its sad to see a good player say bye.

    so long ponter.. good luck in future

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    ricky ponting no longer on the australian odi team is definitely the signal of the rapidly approaching sunset of his career. we in the west indies will be lucky to see him and i have the gut feeling he may retire after that tour. certainly one of the greatest batsmen the world have seen - after lara, tendulkar and company.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    Ricky belittled his wonderful career by playing on in a manner not true to his reputation and abilities . It is not disrespectful to his history , that he has come to the end of the parade . He will always be remembered for " second only to Bradman in the annals of Cricket Australia " . We will miss you Ricky , but we will never forget you . You did Australia proud .

  • Lakmal on February 21, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    It is a sad farewell to a legend: Ricky Ponting, your 2003 WC final innings will forever be remembered as a classic. Hope you keep playing test cricket. Best Wishes from a SL fan.

  • Cam on February 21, 2012, 0:14 GMT

    India would be better off removing Tendulker , Dravid and Laxman from the lineup. For Tendulker the selectors and the BCCI are paralysied by indesicion about removing Tendulker , he as been a hero to India since 1989 but at 38 years old the time has come for him to go. Tendulker should drop himself , surely he realises that. He is leaking runs in the field and his batting dissapointed in Australia. Problem is he is still scoring runs in India and that seems good enough for the BCCI to keep him on - India dont seem to care about away form for any games at the moment. Dravid and Laxman are also failing overseas as well. If all three are still around come WC time India will not win period.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    I think it's easy for people to forget, in light of Ricky's troubles the last 2-3 years, how he absolutely dominated opposing bowlers during the height of Australia's power over a period of 7 or 8 years. He almost never looked like he would get out and made good bowlers look ordinary. He was one of the most important factors in Australia's domination of cricket during the 00s. I saw your innings's, Ricky. I remember.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    probably a good idea, its better for him to retire on top, than to continue playing and burn out like so many other players have.

    Regardless whether you like him or not (i am not a fan) hes one of the best batsman of all time and he should leave it at that.

    personaly i believe that he nas nothing left to prove, his records both as a batsman & captain show to the world that he is one of the greatest.

  • Keith on February 20, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    My my this looks like it might be an uncomfortable way to end an international career. It's better to go out on a high, one last ton, but that isn't always possible. It was great while it lasted and he sure kept the scorers busy. But this situation has been brewing for a while, and some time soon CA have to decide whether to keep him in or start afresh when building up for the next Ashes.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    Great as he was Ponting was starting to embarrass himself in the One Dayers. Good to see the selectors making the right decision. I think they gave him enough chances. Hang in for West Indies Punter.

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