Ponting quits Australian cricket captaincy

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2011, 09:16 AM IST

Zeecric Bureau

Sydney: Ricky Ponting quit as Australian captain on Tuesday with Cricket Australia scheduling a press conference for the major announcement. “I will give my full support to the next Australian captain,” Ponting told a room full of journalists, bringing an end to his nine year reign as the skipper of the most successful cricket team in the modern version of the game.

“This decision has been made by me and no one has asked me to quit,” Ponting said, dismissing any rumours about him being pressured into quitting.

"I`ve had no tap on the shoulder from anyone. This is a decision wholly and solely from me. I thought the timing was spot on," Ponting said at a press conference in Sydney.

"All that being said, I`ve made it very clear to selectors that I`m available (to keep playing Test and one-day cricket for Australia)," he added.

Deputy Michael Clarke is expected to replace Ponting as skipper of the Australian Test and one-day teams. The 36-year-old Tasmanian denied that he was forced to take the decision.

"I`ll have the opportunity over the next couple of days to reflect on where things are headed for me and certainly what direction I feel things are heading for the betterment of Australian cricket," Ponting said.

"I am very proud of what I`ve been able to do as a leader of the Australian cricket team and I have never ever taken any opportunity or any day for granted as the captain.”

"It`s a very prestigious job and one that comes with a lot of scrutiny and a lot of pressure but that is all part of being a leader in any walk of life," he said.

"I still think I have a lot to offer the team as a player and as a leader, with the changing face of the team in the past two years we have got a lot of young faces around the team. Every decision I`ve ever made was always with Cricket Australia`s thoughts at the front of my mind - it`s always been about putting the team before me," he said.

He has captained Australia in 77 Test matches for 48 wins -- the most of any Test skipper -- 16 losses and 13 draws.

In his 227 one-day matches in charge, he returned 163 wins, 50 losses and two World Cups.