Melbourne: Australia captain Ricky Ponting quit Twenty20 Internationals on Monday, hoping the decision would prolong his career in other formats of the game.
Ponting said he would no more feature in Twenty20 Internationals but would complete his contracts with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
“After much thought and careful consideration I have advised Cricket Australia of my decision to retire from international Twenty20 cricket,” Ponting said.
“I have also spoken to (chief selector) Andrew Hilditch, (coach) Tim Nielsen and (vice captain) Michael Clarke and I feel this decision provides me the opportunity to prolong my Australian Test and one-day career, an opportunity I am extremely determined about,” he said.
“As I said after the fifth Test in London, I am hoping to continue playing Test cricket for as long as possible and retiring from the Twenty20 format gives me the best chance of doing this.
“I will now have set periods of rest throughout the Australian summer and while touring which I feel will be very beneficial,” said Ponting, who returned home after losing the Ashes to England.
Earlier this year, Pakistan captain Younus Khan had also quit Twenty20 Internationals after guiding his team to the World Cup glory.
“While I will no longer be available for Australian Twenty20 cricket, I look forward to playing with Tasmania’s KFC Big Bash team where possible and to fulfilling my contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League,“ Ponting said.
Ponting has played 17 Twenty20 Internationals, scoring 401 runs at an average of 28.64 and with a healthy strike rate of 132.78.
The 34-year-old Australian, regarded one of the best batsmen of his era, has amassed more than 11,000 runs both in Test and ODIs.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said Ponting’s absence would leave a void in the Twenty20 squad but the board supported the player.
“We are very supportive of the decision Ricky has made and understanding of the reasons behind it. Needless to say he will be a huge loss to the Twenty20 side but it does present opportunities for the other players and leaders within Australian cricket to gain further experience,” Sutherland said.
“While we have not seen much of Ricky in Australia’s Twenty20 matches in recent times, his innings in the first ever Twenty20 International against New Zealand at Auckland was probably the best innings I have ever seen in the Twenty20 form of the game,” the CA official said.
A formal decision regarding Ponting’s replacement as captain of the Twenty20 side will be made later in the year, the board said.