Sydney: Former Australian captain Ian Chappell believes that Ricky Ponting’s reign as skipper may be over by April 2011.
Chappell expects Ponting to be removed as captain or reach the right point to step down following a busy schedule after the tour of India, the Ashes series and the 2011 World Cup.
“The conclusion of that hectic period could well bring down the curtain on his extremely successful captaincy reign,” Chappell wrote in a magazine.
“If he fails in all three of the enormous challenges facing Australia, the selectors will probably be looking for a new leader. If he succeeds ... that would be the perfect time to call it a day,” he said.
Chappell is optimistic about Ponting doing well for the rest of the program despite the Test series loss against India, an Australian newspaper reports.
Commenting on Ponting’s reig as captain regardless of the results and his form, Chappell said: “If Ponting isn’t mentally drained after that lot then either he’s a genius, the opposition isn’t up to much or Australia has been thoroughly outplayed.”
“That’s when Ponting’s day of reckoning will come. If he’s successful, not only would he go out a hero, the timing for the team would be right. There comes a time when an ageing captain looks around the dressing room and discovers most of his mates have moved on.
“They’ve been replaced by a younger bunch who, whilst you might enjoy tutoring them, are from a different generation that have interests outside the game which are as foreign as a French dictionary,” Chappell said.
“Despite a fast-changing world and a cricket environment where the decision to retire is more difficult than when the pay was paltry, ageing is still a valid obstacle for a skipper. Captains have a use-by-date where their effectiveness starts to wane no matter how successful they’ve been,” he added.