Ponting joins native Hobart Hurricanes to show loyalty

July 7th, 2011 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Hobart, July 7 (IANS) Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has signed up with the Hobart Hurricanes for the Twenty20 Big Bash League primarily to represent his home state of Tasmania.

Ponting, who is based in Sydney, said he if could have easily played for New South Wales (NSW) all these years but decided to play for Hobart in the inaugural league to show loyalty towards his native state.

“I have always said whenever I can I will be playing cricket for Tasmania,” Ponting was quoted as saying by the Mercury here Thursday.

“If I was ever going to do that, I would have done it years ago and played state cricket for NSW as well but my heart and soul is into playing cricket for Tasmania and I will do it as often and as much I can.

“I have actually made some sacrifices to keep it that way. I haven’t been able to train with a state squad the last few years, for the fact I feel uncomfortable going to train with NSW. That is just the loyalty I have always wanted to show towards Tasmania. I am really happy with the way that turned out. We know we are going to be playing one game and hopefully two for me and the rest of the (Test) boys.”

Tasmania’s state captain Gorge Bailey, however, has opted to play for Melbourne Stars. Poning called Bailey’s decision disappointing.

“From my point of view, to be completely honest, I think it is disappointing. But, by the same token, you have got to understand the players’ position on these things. That is the way the modern game is blokes are switching all over the place and playing for different states and whatever else. It is going to happen more and more the way the Big Bash is set to expand.”

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