Ian Chappell feels that Australian captain Ricky Ponting has crossed his "use-by-date" as a leader and he should step down as skipper after the cricket World Cup, which starts in February next year in the subcontinent.
Chappell said by staying on as captain after the World Cup, Ponting will hinder the renewal of the team. The former captain said a new leader should shape a team for challenges ahead, starting with the August 2011 Test tour of Sri Lanka.
"I always thought this was the right time for Ponting to finish as Test captain because you do have a use-by date," said Chappell, who averaged 50 in 30 matches as Australian skipper from 1971-75.
"Ricky has reached that point. He captains World Cup and then whether he decides to stay on as a player is entirely up to him. As far as I am concerned, come August when you have a Test series you look at a new captain and a newish team. It has to be a new captain, a new team," Chappell was quoted as saying by `Herald Sun`.
However, 36-year-old Ponting wants to continue as Australia`s leader claiming that after 77 matches in charge he`s best qualified to steer an inexperienced side back to cricketing respectability.
"I have said I wanted to get the team up to somewhere near the top of the world rankings and that is a long way away for us now, I guess, after losing this series but I still think it is something we are all very capable of if we play
our best cricket," Ponting said.
"I want to be around the team, helping these young guys through the tougher times and think I still have a lot to offer those younger blokes and Australian cricket."
Although he has averaged only 16 with the bat this Ashes, Ponting pointed to his wealth of experience in a 15-year, 152-Test career and his substantial role in Australia`s golden era as superior to any potential replacement.
Ponting has won 99 Tests, 48 of them as captain, and wants more time to leave a "legacy" he hopes is not totally overshadowed by the fact he has lost three Ashes series.