Ponting backs Clarke’s decision to retire

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Nottingham, Aug 9 (IANS) Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting on Sunday supported Michael Clarke’s decision to retire following Australia’s Ashes series-defeat.

Ponting also drew parallels with his own sunset years and wished he had done the same in 2011. Ponting relinquished the captaincy to Clarke in 2011 but continued to play for Australia until late 2012.

Clarke will lead his country one final time in the fifth Test from August 20 at The Oval cricket ground. Australia have already lost the five-match Ashes series 1-3.

“Since I retired I have realised I went on too long and Michael doesn’t want to be in the same boat,” Ponting told Sky Sports.

“I think it’s the right time as he has been fighting inner demons and battling his game for the last 12-18 months.

He deserves to finish at The Oval and hopefully with the weight of the series off, we can see him make a big score.”

Last year, Ponting shocked all when he admitted in a television interview of playing two years longer than he should have done, reprts cricket.com.au on Sunday.

Ponting said he wasn’t unduly worried by the sudden slump in AUstralian cricket and expressed his confidence in the country’s sound structure to produce quality talents.

“The systems we have in Australia will guarantee that we will continue to produce good cricketers and it’s only a few months ago that this Australia team was winning everything,” Ponting said.

“But we have got to get back to producing first-class wickets in Australia that are going to have our players better prepared for English conditions.”

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