Ponting dropped from Australia's ODI squad

Former skipper dropped from tri-series squad, set to announce one-day retirement

On Sunday, Ricky Ponting had made his intentions clear of continuing in the one-day format despite five successive miserable outings.

out in the cold Former skipper Ricky Ponting has been dropped from Australia’s squad for the rest of the tri-series.

But 24 hours later, the Australian selectors decided to halt, if not end, his 375-match one-day career, dropping him from the squad for the next two ODIs against India and Sri Lanka at the Gabba and in Hobart respectively.

Ponting, who had stepped in for the injured Michael Clarke in the last two one-dayers as captain, has called for a press conference on Tuesday in which he’s expected to make his decision to quit the limited-overs format public.

Explaining the decision, John Inverarity, chairman of Australia’s selectors, said, “Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five Commonwealth Bank Series matches to date in this series. The team will not 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.

Ponting has made 2, 1, 6, 2, and 7 in five innings that prompted the selectors to take the call. But Inverarity spoke in glowing terms about Ponting’s contribution to Australian cricket. “Ricky’s record speaks for itself. He is 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,” he said.

Ponting’s last two one-day outings for Australia were as captain, a position he had to quit after failed campaigns in the Ashes and in the World Cup last year. But Inverarity said taking over captaincy during an urgent situation showed Ponting’s selflessness. “Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke’s recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus,” he noted.

Inverarity described Ponting as a positive influence on the team. “Ricky’s contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect, and all acknowledges his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing room. He is held in the highest possible regard by his teammates and there is no higher accolade than this,” Inverarity said.

But Inverarity was quick to add that the nature of sports at the highest level is such that they need to think of introducing fresh faces at some stage. “We were very keen for Ricky to play in these games because we intended to blend in some younger players, and his influence for them has been remarkable. But we need to move on at some stage,” he added.

Clarke is fit again and returns to lead the squad. All-rounder Shane Watson too has returned to the side, and he was also named vice-captain of the team. Pacer Ryan Harris has replaced Mitchell Starc.

The squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, David Warner, Matthew Wade.

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