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Australia captain Michael Clarke today accepted that he played a role in the sacking of former skipper Ricky Ponting from the ODI squad as he was a part of the selection panel but remained confident that his friendship with the veteran would remain intact.
The selection panel ended Ponting’s ODI career earlier this week after deciding to build a team for the 2015 World Cup and Clarke said he was part of the decision-making process.
“I’m 100 per cent part of the selection panel,” admitted Clarke.
“That’s part now of the captain’s job. We’ve made this decision as a panel. It is tough not having the great Ricky Ponting out there playing for us but that’s the decision we’ve made. Obviously the 2015 World Cup is something we’ve spoken about as a panel. I’m 100 per cent a part of that,” he added.
The selection committee had lost patience with the 37-year-old Ponting,who scored just 18 runs from five innings at an average of 3.6 in the ongoing tri-series,featuring India and Sri Lanka.
Clarke,however,hoped that his role on the selection panel,which decided to drop Ricky Ponting from the Aussie ODI team,would not affect his friendship with the former skipper.
“Ricky was captain of the team for a long time and although he wasn’t a selector he played a big part in selecting the XI players that took the field,” Clarke said.
“I remember getting dropped after the Test match in the West Indies and Punter was the one who came and told me I hadn’t been selected. He knows it’s certainly not personal. I’m very confident our friendship is a lot stronger than that,” said Clarke.
Ponting and Clarke would take the field together during the Test tour of West Indies in April as the No. 4 and 5 batsmen.
Although there has been a lot of debate over whether Ponting should have been given a farewell match,Clarke said there was no reason to think Ponting had played his last game for Australia.
“He’s going to play a lot more Test cricket I hope. So there’s going to be plenty of time for Ricky to play international cricket for Australia,” the captain insisted.