Monday, 7 September 2009

Cricket : Ponting leaves Australia Twenty20

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has retired from Twenty20 internationals to prolong his Test and one-day career – but will not tear up his money-spinning Indian Premier League contract.
Ponting's captaincy has come under scrutiny in Australia after his team's Ashes series loss to England last month, but the batsman said he was determined to remain in charge of the side.
The 2-1 series defeat made Ponting only the second captain in more than 120 years to lose the Ashes on British soil twice.
Tas man
Ponting, who will remain as Test and one-day captain, said he would continue to play domestic cricket for Tasmania and would fulfil his contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
"After much thought and careful consideration I have advised Cricket Australia of my decision to retire from international Twenty20 cricket," the 34-year-old said on Monday.
"I feel this decision provides me the opportunity to prolong my Australian Test and one-day career."
Cricket Australia (CA), which has dismissed calls for Ponting to step down following the Ashes defeat, said it supported his decision.
'Huge loss'
"Needless to say he will be a huge loss to the Twenty20 side but it does present opportunities for the other players and leaders within Australian cricket to gain further experience," CA chief executive James Sutherland said.
Australia have posted a mediocre record under Ponting's captaincy in the shortest format of the game, crashing out of the Twenty20 World Cup in June.
He was excused from two washed-out Twenty20 matches last month and the start of the ODI series to return home to rest after the Ashes, but returns to England this week to captain Australia for the rest of the ODI series.
Vice-captain Michael Clarke, who has been seen as Ponting's eventual replacement, has deputised in his absence.
Cricket Australia said a new Twenty20 captain would be decided later this year.
Australia's next Twenty20 international will be held on February 5 against Pakistan in Melbourne.

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