Wise Ponting realised that clinging onto Oz captaincy could have finished him

March 30th, 2011 - 2:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Mar. 30 (ANI): Ricky Ponting realised that clinging on to the Test and one-day captaincy following one of the worst periods of Australian cricket would be stretching things too far.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he realized that by relinquishing the role, it would help him retain his place as a specialist batsman and also allow successor Michael Clarke fair time to build the team for the 2013 Ashes and 2015 World Cup.

‘I believe with the experience I have in the international game, my cricket skills aside, the way I understand the game, I think will be very beneficial to everyone involved in the Australian cricket teams I play in for the next couple of years,’ Ponting said

Ponting was not pushed but he did not have the total support of the board.

His decision surprised senior Cricket Australia staff, including chief executive James Sutherland, who was stunned when called by the Tasmanian on Monday night.

But an official within Cricket Australia said the generation gap in the Australian side had led to cliques within the team, with the younger players gravitating towards the 30-year-old Clarke while the senior members leaned towards Ponting, 36.

However, there is no suggestion of a rift inside the dressing room.

He was pleased to have unloaded the burden. “This is a decision I’ve made after a lot of thinking about it,’ he said.

‘The day has come for me to move on now and let someone else assume that responsibility. I felt the timing was absolutely perfect. When you think about what we’ve got coming up, we’ve got Bangladesh obviously, Sri Lanka [in August] will be a tough Test match tour for us and one-day tour for that matter, and so will South Africa, so I wanted to make sure the person coming in had as much time as they possibly could to get themselves prepared … it will give the next captain a great opportunity to put his fingerprints on the Australian cricket team,” he said Tuesday.

‘I haven’t put a finish date or time on when my international career is going to be over,’ said Ponting.

‘The honest truth is the fact I’m not going to be captain any more might give me a chance of playing better. I think it will keep me a bit mentally fresher than I have been in the last couple of years,’ he added. (ANI)

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