Clarke accepts role in Ponting axing

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Michael Clarke the selector has accepted responsibility for his part in the axing of Ricky Ponting from the Australian one-day side.

The Australian captain became part of a five-man selection panel following the Argus review ordered in the wake of last summer’s Ashes loss.

In a News Ltd column on Thursday, Clarke wrote of his sadness that Ponting would not be part of the one-day squad as it moves towards the 2015 World Cup.

But he wasn’t shirking his role in the decision when he fronted media at Ponting’s Bellerive home ground in Hobart ahead of Friday’s tri-series match against Sri Lanka.

“I’m 100 per cent part of the selection panel – that’s part now of the captain’s job, I guess, and we’ve made this decision as a panel,” Clarke said.

“It is tough not having the great Ricky Ponting out there this game playing one-day cricket for us but that’s the decision we’ve made.

“Obviously 2015, the World Cup, is something we’ve spoken about as a panel and I’m 100 per cent a part of that.”

Clarke said he and Ponting were “great friends” and, after speaking with the former skipper, he didn’t expect that to change.

He said the situation was similar to when he was dropped under Ponting in 2005.

“Ricky was captain of the team for a long time and, although he wasn’t a selector, he still played a big part in selecting the 11 players that took the field,” Clarke said.

“I remember getting dropped after the Test match in the West Indies and Punter was the one that came and told me that I hadn’t been selected.

“So he knows it’s certainly not personal.

“I’m very confident that our friendship is a lot stronger than that.”

Clarke described Ponting as “a huge part of our Test team” and did not rule out the possibility of the Australian great, who captained the national side in his last two games, returning to the one-day arena.

“I think the one thing is the door’s never closed on anybody,” Clarke said.

“Who knows what can happen in this very weird and tough game that we play?”

Chairman of selectors John Inverarity delivered the news to Ponting on Monday, also pointing to the World Cup in three years as a key reason for the decision.

Clarke said the panel was already looking at around 25 players who could be part of that campaign, including young batsman Peter Forrest.

Shane Watson and Ryan Harris will join Clarke in returning from injury for the Sri Lanka tri-series clash at Bellerive.

The skipper said he was confident he had overcome the hamstring problem that handed Ponting two more matches at the helm.

“I just did a bit of running with the physio, I had a bit of a hit in the nets and I’m feeling really good,” Clarke said.

He said no decision had yet been made on a replacement for Ponting at No.3 in Australia’s batting line-up.

© AAP 2014
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