Ponting quits T20 cricket

AUSTRALIA skipper Ricky Ponting has retired from Twenty20 internationals and plans to have "set periods of rest" to prolong his Test and one-day career, but will not relinquish his lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) contract.

AUSTRALIA skipper Ricky Ponting has retired from Twenty20 internationals and plans to have "set periods of rest" to prolong his Test and one-day career, but will not relinquish his lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) contract.

"After much thought and careful consideration I have advised Cricket Australia of my decision to retire from international Twenty20 cricket," the 34-year-old Ponting said yesterday.

"I have also spoken to (chief selector) Andrew Hilditch, (coach) Tim Nielsen and (vice-captain) Michael Clarke and I feel this decision provides me with the opportunity to prolong my Australian Test and one-day career.

"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."

Ponting's captaincy has come under scrutiny in sports-mad Australia after his team's Ashes series loss to England last month, but the batsman said he was determined to remain in charge of the side.

The 2-1 series defeat made Ponting only the second captain in more than 120 years to lose the Ashes on British soil twice.

Ponting, who will remain as Test and one-day captain, said he would continue to play domestic cricket for Tasmania and would fulfil his contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

Cricket Australia, which has dismissed calls for Ponting to step down after the Ashes defeat, said it supported his decision. - Reuters

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