Australia captain Ricky Ponting retired from Twenty20 international cricket on Monday as he bids to extend his Test career.
Ponting is still smarting from Australia’s Ashes defeat and wants to return to England for the 2013 series. He will be 38 by the time of that tour, but wants revenge after having the unenviable record of leading Australia to successive series defeats in England in 2005 and 2009. Ponting will remain as captain of Australia’s Test and one-day international team. He is sitting out the opening four matches of the current one-day series against England with Michael Clarke stepping in to take charge. Clarke, who has impressed as Australia have opened with wins a The Oval and on Sunday at Lord’s, is favorite to take over the Twenty20 captaincy. Ponting, will continue to play domestic Twenty20 cricket and in the lucrative Indian Premier League.
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“I feel this decision provides me the opportunity to prolong my Australian Test and one-day career, an opportunity I am extremely determined about,” he told reporters. Ponting has seen his men slip to fourth in the world Test rankings after the 2-1 Ashes series defeat and is determined to lift his team to the top of the pile again. “As I said after the fifth Test in London, I am hoping to continue playing Test cricket for as long as possible and retiring from the Twenty20 format gives me the best chance of doing this,” he added. Cricket Australia, who have stood by Ponting despite calls for his sacking after their Ashes defeat, supported his decision. “He will be a huge loss to the Twenty20 side but it does present opportunities for the other players and leaders within Australian cricket to gain further experience,” said their chief executive James Sutherland.