Johnson may skip IPL: manager

Clarke hopes Ponting will regain fitness in time for Boxing Day Test


The 28-year-old Queenslander’s manager Sam Halvorsen said Johnson, who would have been one of the most sought-after names at the January 19 auction, is likely to give the third edition of the tournament a miss, a decision which may have cost him $200,000. Halvorsen said apart from keeping himself fresh for national duty, Johnson’s decision to skip the March 12 to April 25-slated tournament have been influenced by the newly-laid rules of the auction process.

“We want to protect him from the wear and tear. The decision was made easier because of our concern over the auction process,” Halvorsen was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph. “He might have been able to play half the tournament but at this stage we feel the break will be better for him,” he said. As per the rules, a player is unable to choose the team he wants to play for or negotiate the size of his contract. Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting batted without any trouble in the nets on Thursday, his teammates are hoping that their captain would be ready to lead the team in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan.

Ponting batted for about half an hour in Thursday’s practice session, starting with throwdowns before he went into the change room to have his injured elbow assessed by physiotherapist Alex Kountouris.

Michael Clarke, who would step in as captain if Ponting was unavailable, is hoping that Ponting will be fit in time.

“He’ll have to see how he pulls up tomorrow but we’re all pretty confident. It looked like he hit the ball quite well, he’s obviously in good form and fingers crossed he pulls up all right tomorrow,” Clarke said.

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