Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Ponting resigns as Australian captain

The 36-year-old is “really excited about the next chapter” in his international career.

FOLLOWING AUSTRALIA’S DISAPPOINTING Cricket World Cup exit at the hands of India, Ricky Ponting has announced his decision to step down as the country’s test and one-day captain.

The 36-year-old’s decision brings an end to a long and successful spell at the Australian helm. Under his leadership, the national team won 163 out of 227 ODIs since 2002 and 48 out 77 Tests since 2004 as well as recording back-to-back victories in the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.

The side had been tipped to retain their title once again this spring, but Ponting is adamant that their quarter-final exit to the hosts had no bearing on his decision to resign.

I’ll absolutely go on record here to say that I’ve had absolutely no tap on the shoulder.

This is a decision that’s been wholly and solely made by me and people close to me.

If there was one arena in which Ponting’s teams disappointed slightly, it was during their Ashes battles against England. His sole victory in the series came on home soil in 2006/2007 when the Aussies recorded a famous 5-0 whitewash.

Considering the strength of his record in other areas, Ponting appears slightly bemused by a tendency to focus on the one blemish on his CV.

“I know within myself what I’ve achieved in the game and I’m very proud of it,” he said.

It’s funny how we talk about losing the Ashes series three times.

Playing on three World Cup winning teams doesn’t come up very often, winning 16 consecutive Test matches doesn’t come up very much, winning 30-odd consecutive World Cup matches doesn’t come up very often.

Australia will announce Ponting’s successor tomorrow with vice-captain Michael Clarke widely expected to be promoted to the position.

“He’s done a terrific job in almost every game he’s captained Australia. I totally would endorse Michael Clarke as the next captain.”

Read more of Ponting’s comments on BBC Sport >