19th June, England v South Africa, 09:30 GMT
Ricky Ponting stopped short of announcing his retirement from One-Day International cricket at a hastily arranged press conference in Sydney but accepted that it was unlikely that the selectors would recall him ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
Following his axing from Australia’s squad for the ongoing Commonwealth Bank Series yesterday, he admitted that national selector John Inverarity had told him that he was no longer in their plans ahead of the event, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand, and said, “It's a little bit hard to come here today and say I'm retiring when I've already been left out of the side. I don't expect to play One-Day International cricket for Australia any more and I'm pretty sure the selectors don't expect to pick me either."
He did, however, restate his determination to continue playing Test cricket, in spite of concerns that he would not be able to keep himself cricket-fit, adding, "I will continue playing Test cricket and I'll continue playing for Tasmania as well. I think I've proved to myself and to everybody else that I'm still capable of dominating Test cricket as I did in the last series against India (he scored 544 runs at an average of 108.8).
“I'm looking forward to getting back and playing the last couple of Shield games for Tasmania this year and then heading to the West Indies hopefully with some runs under my belt. With the two [Sheffield] Shield games I've got before the West Indies tour it's important I spend as much time as I can around the Tasmanian side and get the training required and preparation required to play those games. When we get back from there it will be back into a pre-season maybe even with my club team, Mowbray Cricket Club in Tassie, they might even see a bit more of me as well."
He is also expected to play at least some one-day games for Tasmania – including their forthcoming Ryobi Cup final against South Australia – and has also been quoted as saying that he would like a final crack at county cricket before he retires.
Of his physical fitness, Ponting went on to say, “My body has been able to get through the rigours of this summer really well and I think my mind has just been a little bit behind where my body's been. When you're not as sharp as you need to be at international level, then you can expect you're not going to play as well as you like either.
"The thing with the Test summer for me, yes I spent a lot of time in the middle and yes I made a lot of runs, but the work I had to do outside to get my game back to where it was towards the end of the Test series I've had to work harder than ever in my career and I worked harder than everybody else in the Australian team right through the last 12 months. At some stage that was going to catch up with me and I think just being not quite as sharp as I needed to be at the start of the one-day series has played a bit of a part in why I haven't scored those runs."
Overall, the 37 year-old has scored 13,704 runs at an average of 42.03 and a strike rate of 80.39 during his 375-match ODI career; as well as being part of three victorious Australian World Cup sides – two of them as captain – and is behind only Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time ODI run chart.
© Cricket World 2012
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