Oz selectors axe Ponting from one-day squad
Brisbane, Feb. 20 : Australia''s National Selection Panel (NSP) has axed veteran and former captain Ricky Ponting from the one-day squad after five consecutive single-figure scores.
The Herald Sun quoted NSP chairman John Inverarity, as saying: "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. 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."
Inverarity paid tribute to Ponting''s team spirit.
"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."
"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 said the former skipper took the news "on the chin", and had gone away to consider his future.
He hinted that in the selectors'' eyes, Ponting''s one-day career could be at an end.
"The door is never closed, but this is a strong indicator (that Ponting''s ODI career had ended)," he said.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Shane Watson is unlikely to play in the team''s next match in Hobart, but will travel with the team with an eye toward playing in Sydney on Sunday.
Inverarity confirmed that Matthew Wade was now the No. 1 ODI wicketkeeper after proving himself in Brad Haddin''s place. He said both ''keepers would travel on the tour to the West Indies.
The squad: Michael Clarke (Captain), Shane Watson (Vice-Captain), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade
(Wicketkeeper) and David Warner. (ANI)