SYDNEY: Former captain Ricky Ponting’s One-Day International (ODI) career appeared over after he was dropped from Australia’s team for the tri-nation series against India and Sri Lanka.
Chief selector John Inverarity said Ponting, who is second on the leading ODI run-scorers’ list, was axed because of poor form, which had seen him score just 18 runs in five knocks in the tri-nation series. But the chief selector, while praising Ponting’s contribution over a glittering 17-year ODI career, seemed to shut the door on any future for the veteran in Australia’s ODI side.
“The team won’t seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport,” said Inverarity.
The selectors dumped Ponting as they announced a 13-man squad with all-rounder Shane Watson returning for the next two ODIs. The former captain’s sacking came a day after he led Australia to a 110-run win over India as stand-in for injured skipper Michael Clarke. But the selectors signalled that time was up after his dismal run of late.
“Ponting has been dropped due to his lack of form in the five tri-series matches to date. His record speaks for itself. He’s one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories.”
Test future in doubt as well
However, Inverarity said there were no guarantees Ponting would continue playing Test cricket either, and that the former captain was pondering his next steps.
“He’s going to consider his future over the next couple of days and my guess is he’ll be giving a press conference in the next two or three days,” he said. “If he drops out of the ODI team then there’s a possible lack of momentum. There are three Tests in the West Indies in April but nothing until October or November after that.”
Ponting will be addressing a press conference in Sydney today. His sacking comes less than a month after his dominant role in Australia’s 4-0 clean sweep of the Test series against India. He scored 544 at 108.8 with two centuries, second only to Clarke’s tally for the series.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2012.