Clarke admits role in Ponting’s axing

February 23rd, 2012 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Hobart, Feb 23 (IANS) Australia captain Michael Clarke Thursday admitted to his role in axing of Ricky Ponting from the one-day team.

Clarke is a member of John Inverarity headed National Selection panel which dropped Ponting for the remainder of the tri-series involving India and Sri Lanka. The former captain’s exclusion earlier in the week made him informally announce his retirement from the 50-over format.

Clarke said it was tough to overlook his predecessor and acknowledged his hand in the decision aimed at building a side for 2015 World Cup.

“I am 100 per cent part of the selection panel - that is now part of the captain’s job, I guess, and we have made this decision as a panel,” Clarke told reporters here ahead of their match against Sri Lanka Friday.

“It is tough not having the great Ricky Ponting out there this game playing one-day cricket for us but that is the decision we have made.

“Obviously 2015, the World Cup, is something we have spoken about as a panel and I am 100 per cent a part of that.”

Clarke said it was not personal to drop Ponting and they will continue to be “great friends”.

“Ricky was captain of the team for a long time and, although he wasn’t a selector, he still played a big part in selecting the 11 players that took the field,” Clarke said.

“I remember getting dropped after the Test match in the West Indies and Punter was the one that came and told me that I hadn’t been selected. So he knows it is certainly not personal. I am very confident that our friendship is a lot stronger than that,” he said while referring to the 2005 series in the Caribbean where he was dropped under Ponting.

Clarke maintained that Ponting was an integral part of the Test team and did not rule out Ponting’s comeback into the one-day side.

“I think the one thing is the door’s never closed on anybody. Who knows what can happen in this very weird and tough game that we play?”

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