Ponting dropped by Australia

Mon, 20 Feb 08:28:32 2012

The end appears to be nigh for Ricky Ponting`s one-day career after Australia dropped their former World Cup-winning captain for their next two Commonwealth Bank Series matches against Sri Lanka and India.

National selector John Inverarity cited Ponting`s dismal form in the series - he has amassed just 18 runs from five innings - as the reason for his axing, and went on to suggest that the 37-year-old`s time as a limited-overs international could be at an end.

"Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to his lack of form in the five Commonwealth Bank Series matches to date in this series," Inverarity said in a statement.

"The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.

"Ricky's record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories.

"Ricky's contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing-room is acknowledged by all. He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this."

The Tasmanian`s omission comes just a day after he led the side once more, having been asked to deputise for two games in the absence of current skipper Michael Clarke.

Ponting has played in 375 one-day internationals for his country, scoring 13,704 runs at an average of 42. He has hit 82 half-centuries and 30 hundreds, as well as taking 160 catches.

"Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke's recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus," Inverarity concluded.

Clarke returns to the squad following a hamstring injury, while pace bowler Ryan Harris replaces Mitchell Starc. Shane Watson is also back following injury. Inverarity went on to add that Matthew Wade was now the side`s preferred wicket-keeper, and said that the 24-year-old would be touring the West Indies alongside out-of-form Test gloveman Brad Haddin.


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