Clarke admits playing role in Pontings sacking


Hobart: Australia
captain Michael Clarke today accepted that he played a role in the sacking
of former skipper Ricky Ponting from the one-day 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
one-day international 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 Ponting from the Aussie ODI team,
would not affect his friendship with the former skipper.

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.

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