Ricky Ponting has admitted to being disappointed by the timing of Damien Martyn's shock retirement last week. Martyn stunned the cricket community, including his Australia team-mates, when he quit the game mid-series.
Speaking as his side prepared for the third Test at Perth, Ponting said he would have liked Martyn to play a farewell game at home. "When I sat back and digested that he had retired, I thought why didn't he give it one more week?" Ponting said. "He would have had a home Test match and the chance for us to win the Ashes in this Test was there.
"I guess it was the timing that was the real big surprise for me. I am really shocked and surprised. I am as close to Marto as any of the guys in the team and I didn't see it coming."
Martyn is believed to be on holiday in Hawaii with his wife and Ponting said he had been hard to contact since the announcement. "We have all tried to be in contact with him as much as we can over the past few days, but he has been pretty aloof. He will talk to us after the game, he doesn't want to get in the road at the moment. He wanted to do the right thing by the team and get away and not have the spotlight on the team."
Ponting wondered if the mounting pressure on Martyn to retain his berth, with speculation Shane Watson would replace him as soon as the allrounder was fit, had got to him. "He probably didn't make the runs he would have liked in the first two games," he said. "Knowing Marto he would have put a lot of extra pressure on himself."
Martyn, 35, has not spoken publicly since his decision. His only statement on his retirement came in a letter, which it was later revealed was prepared by the Australian radio personality Alan Jones.