Relationship with Ponting won’t be strained: Clarke

February 24th, 2012 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Hobart, Feb 24 (IANS) Australian captain Michael Clarke has said his role in dropping Ricky Ponting from the ODI squad will not strain his relationship with the ex-skipper.

Clarke said he did not let his friendship with Ponting come in between his role as a selector and playing a crucial role in ending the legendary batsmen’s illustrious ODI career. The incident prompted Ponting to end his ODI career but he has vowed to carry on in Test cricket.

Clarke said he will enjoy playing with Ponting in Test cricket.

“I’m 100 per cent part of the selection panel. That’s now part of the captain’s job. We’ve made this decision as a panel. It is tough not having the great Ricky Ponting out there playing for us, but that’s the decision we’ve made. Obviously the 2015 World Cup is something we have spoken about as a panel. I’m 100 per cent part of that,” Clarke said before Friday’s match against Sri Lanka.

Clarke said his friendship with Ponting is strong and it won’t be affected with this decision.

“Ricky was captain for a long time and while he wasn’t a selector he played a big part in selecting the 11 players that took the field. I remember getting dropped after the Test match against the West Indies and Punter was the one who came up and told me I hadn’t been selected. He certainly knows it’s not personal. I’m very confident our friendship is a lot stronger than that,” he said.

Former coach Tim Nielsen said Ponting deserved a farewell at his home ground.

“Sometimes I wonder if we look after our greatest well enough. One more ODI would have no impact on planning for 2015 WC (World Cup). Even if RP didn’t want it, talk to him enough that he understands that people close to him and especially in Tas would enjoy and maybe deserve that one last game,” he said.

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