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Ponting's dropping leads to controversy

The dropping of former Australian captain Ricky Ponting from the one day squad in the ongoing Commonwealth Bank Tri series competition which also features Sri Lanka and India has led to much controversy.

Ponting has been tagged Australia's best batsman after Sir Donald Bradman. To be classed with Bradman is great, because Bradman was the greatest batsman that the cricket world has seen and will ever see.

After the Ashes series against England where Australia lost very badly, Ponting chucked the Australian captaincy which was given to Michael Clarke by the Australian selectors.

When it was announced that he had been dropped from the one day squad, Ponting did not take long to nnounce that he is quitting the overs limited game, but would still be available to play Test cricket which is what the game is all about.

The finest

Ponting's one-day cricket career has been described as the finest by an Australian in the game's history. Here's his record in the one-day games.

He has made a whopping 13,704 - second only to India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar on the all-time list 160 catches, four World Cup finals with three titles, including two as captain over a span of 17 years.

Following a run of five single figure scores in the summer's triangular series against Sri Lanka and India, Ponting's time had come to an end. It was sad.But that s how the game goes.

The Australian selectors headed by former Test player who did not make big news for Australia John Inverarity did not show mercy and in leaving him out told him that he is not in their plans for the next World Cup to be held 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.

Good news

But the good news is that Ponting will not be lost to the game for ever. The 37 year old has still the fire to play Test cricket and will get back playing for Tasmania, make big run and be available.

For now retirement is not an option for Ponting.

Ponting said: 'I love the game and I love every opportunity I get to represent my country. One thing I've always been conscious of is not letting my country down...I'm not going to keep playing and drag myself trough the times where I don't think I can play great cricket.

'My love and passion for the game has not wavered at all and even being dropped from the Australian cricket team hasn't changed the way I think about the Test game.

'All I've got left now is Test cricket and I want to make every post a winner with that and make sure every chance I have to play for Australia, I'm the best prepared I can be and enjoy every moment'.

Sacking a 'disgrace'

Former Aussie hard hitting opener Mathew Hayden branded Ricky Ponting's sacking a 'disgrace'.

This is what Hayden told the 'The Courier Mail' in a headline - It's no way to treat a champ - 'It was disgraceful treatment of our modern day Bradman.I feel speechless. The logic that Ponting was left out so we can prepare for the next World Cup is just lost on me. It just looks as if he is being pushed further and further away from the team and I don't understand why.

'We should be celebrating the act that he is still around. We are trying to rush him out the door to find another Ricky Ponting yet I cannot see who the next Ponting is.

'What message is this sending out to cricketers around Australia? You have a batsman ho averaged 100 in his last Test series against India and he gets treated like this. It is outrageous.

'I thought it said so much about him that he is prepared to go back and play cub cricket even though he has not got time to scratch himself. Ricky's passion for the game is extraordinary. This decision is against the fabric of what our game should be all about. What more does one individual have to for than what he did in his last Test series'.

Andrew Symonds retires

Before Ricky Ponting announced his retirement from one-day cricket after being dropped from the squad, another who retired earlier from all forms of the game was all rounder Andrew Symonds.

Symonds retirement did not make big news here. There was hardly anything in the newspapers. It was sad because Symonds had done much to make Australian cricket what it is today.

A cricketer who loves to get embroiled in controversy, Symonds was always a big draw where ever he played. A strong, well built hard hitting batsman he could make mincemeat of any bowling attack when in the mood.

Medium pace cutters

He could bowl medium pace cutters when the shine on the ball was still there and revert to bowling tantalising off spinners later on.

He was a cricketer any captain will love to have in his team. He played many a match winning knock for Australia. When in the mood he was one of the best eye catching batsmen to watch. He could hit the ball hard, and when he hit it would screech to the boundary or over it with great force.

He will always be remembered for his spat with Indian off spinner Harbhajan Singh when India toured Australia. The 'turbanator' as Harbhajan was called used to tease Symonds.

But the temperamental Symonds would return fire and together they made that acrimonious tour one to remember. That was the tour that also led to the quitting of West Indian Steve Bucknor as an umpire.

With the retirement of Andrew Symonds another light that shone brightly in the cricket firmament goes out.

erodrigopulle@gmail.com
 

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