Sydney: Australian national selector John Inverarity has said that retired Test captain Ricky Ponting and batsman Simon Katich will not be called to the Ashes squad as emergency back-up if captain Michael Clarke`s back problems continue.
Inverarity had said that although he was confident that Clarke would be fit for the five Tests against England starting on July 10, he had confirmed that a shadow batsman would be called in if the skipper remained under an injury cloud.
However, Inverarity dismissed thoughts of calls to experienced Test campaigners and in-form County Championship run-makers Ponting and Katich, adding that even though they will look for any reinforcements from within the team, he will not be bringing back the duo as they have both retired from international cricket.
Stating that Ponting and Katich are not on the list of standbys, which is believed to include ODI captain George Bailey and Australia A middle-order man Steve Smith, the head selector said that the opportunity is there for players to score runs over coming weeks.
Clarke remains in London seeking treatment from a specialist on his troublesome back and is expected to miss the entire Champions Trophy.
Although there is a growing sentiment Clarke could also be in doubt for the Ashes also, but Inverarity is optimistic, saying that he is confident that the skipper will be fit for the Ashes as he has extraordinary preparation and works harder than anyone else.