North denies rumours of replacing Ponting

Melbourne: Marcus North has denied speculation about him replacing Ricky Ponting as Australia’s next Test captain.

North, who will captain Western Australia against England in a three-day tour match starting today in Perth, woke up to speculative reports that vice-captain Michael Clarke was unpopular within the team and would not be considered as Pomting’s successor.

“I wake up this morning reading some of these reports and, look I know it’s an Ashes summer, but there’s got to be better stuff to write about. That’s scraping the bottom of the barrel,” FOX Sports quoted North, as saying.

“I must be playing in a different team, if some of these things are right. I do find it quite funny. Yesterday the feeling in the media was who can replace North (in the Test team), and today I’m being touted as Australian captain,” he said.

Part of the unsourced report suggested one reason Clarke was out of favour with the -players was because of comments he made about Michael Hussey and Doug Bollinger playing T20 cricket in the lead up to the recent Test series in India.

The Australian camp is known to be furious with the report, so much so that Hussey requested that he be added to this afternoon’s scheduled media conference in Sydney, at which Australian limited-overs debutant Xavier Doherty was due to speak.