Ponting won’t quit

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

EM­BAT­TLED skip­per Ricky Ponting has not ruled out lead­ing the side to the 2013 Ashes as Aus­tralian cricket lurches to­wards a lead­er­ship show­down.

Aus­tralia’s prepa­ra­tion for to­day’s sud­den-death World Cup quar­ter-fi­nal with In­dia was rocked by a Bri­tish re­port claim­ing Ponting would r e s i g n i f t he t hr e e - t i me cham­pi­ons crashed at the Sar­dar Pa­tel Sta­dium. But af­ter em­phat­i­cally quash­ing the spec­u­la­tion yes­ter­day, a de­fi­ant Ponting vowed to fight on and said it was not the ‘‘ right time’’ for him to be axed in favour of longserv­ing Michael Clarke.

‘‘ If Cricket Aus­tralia or the se­lec­tors be­lieve there is some­one out there to cap­tain any team I play in, so be it,’’ he said. ‘‘ I haven’t thought much about that. I’ve got enough to think about with the World Cup cam­paign com­ing to­wards the pointy end to not be dis­tracted by things I can’t con­trol.

‘‘ Right now, maybe ( play­ing on un­til the 2013 Ashes) is a re­al­is­tic thing,’’ he said ahead of to­day’s do-or-die World Cup clash.

‘‘ I was asked about that when I got back in 2009 and I said be­cause of the bad mem­o­ries of leav­ing The Oval, it would be nice to get back and have some good ones.

‘‘ As far as the way my body is feel­ing and how much I’m en­joy­ing my cricket, then I’d love to be able to do that.

‘‘ But I need to be good enough to do it, which is what I’ve al­ways ( qual­i­fied) it with.

‘‘ I’ve got to be play­ing well enough and scor­ing the runs you score as an in­ter­na­tional player to give your­self a chance to be picked.

‘‘ There are other play­ers around the world at my age who are do­ing it well and do­ing it reg­u­larly, so there is some am­bi­tion for me to get back to the way I want to play.’’

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