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November 9, 2009
Ricky Ponting has taken another step in his crusade to ensure playing for Australia remains the pinnacle for his country's cricketers. Ponting, who guided a patched-up squad to a series win over India on Sunday, is concerned that the lucrative Twenty20 domestic leagues will sway emerging talent to push for dollars over international caps.
''I've made no secret that I'm a bit worried about some of the attitudes of younger players … with the amount of money that's around in Champions League and IPL,'' Ponting said in the Age. "'I've made it very common knowledge over the last couple of years that I just hope that the next generation of players coming through have the same sort of want and desire to play as much international cricket as I have, because that's what it's all about as far as I'm concerned."
Ponting, who has appeared in four IPL games for the Kolkata Knight Riders, has retired from Twenty20 internationals "to play more 50-over cricket and better Test cricket over the next few years". However, the younger guys are more likely to be persuaded by the huge sums available in the game's shortest form.
The situation is so delicate that Ponting reminds new recruits of the importance of being in the national side. ''One thing we always try and stress, as the more experienced players in this team, is just how much of an honour it is to get a chance to play for Australia," he said. "We really ram that home to the young guys coming in, and every young bloke I've seen come in has accepted just how big and special it is to play for Australia.
''That's my job and Huss' [Michael Hussey's] job and Michael Clarke's job, as the senior players in the side at the moment, just to keep reinforcing that to those blokes. Hopefully, they'll want to do what some of our older blokes have done.''
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