Sydney: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed off from a statement that he could return to Test cricket as an emergency Ashes back-up and has ruled himself out of the upcoming back-to-back series against England.
Although Ponting had recently said in an interview that he would not say no to the Australian team management if he was needed at the last minute for the Ashes, he, however has since made clear his international career was definitely over.
Admitting that he probably did not make his stance on not returning to cricket clear in the interview, Ponting said that he is a happily retired international cricketer, adding that he is not necessary to the Ashes squad.
According to Ponting, there would be almost 17-18 players and also a few reserve batsmen on standby, ready to go if anyone in the starting XI loses a bit of form Insisting that he would not playing in the Ashes again this year.
Ponting, retired from Test cricket in December, however said that he was pleased that some people thought he was still good enough to play although he argued that it was time for the younger generation to make their mark.
Ponting, who is in England to play county cricket for Surrey, had further said in the interview that although he would not be a part of the Australian squad in the Ashes, he would keep an close eye on proceedings and would not hesitate to offer his help if he is asked for it.
Although the former captain wished to have another crack at arch-rivals England, he said that he was convinced that he was no longer reaching the required standard after a poor series at home to South Africa.
The Australian team is currently in Wales at the start of their ICC Champions Trophy campaign.