Australian Captain Ricky Ponting may end his career as a skipper after ICC World Cup 2011

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Robbie McEwen

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  • Australian Captain Ricky Ponting may end his career as a skipper after ICC World Cup 2011

Australian Captain Ricky Ponting may end his career as a skipper after ICC World Cup 2011

Media reports have revealed that Australian Skipper Ricky Ponting is expected to step down from captaincy this week after a nine year haul, as the Cricket Australia is considering Michael Clarke to replace him for the tour of Bangladesh next month. It is possible that the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2011 could well be his last as a captain.

The 36-year-old skipper has been leading his team for nine years and under his captaincy Aussies have clinched the World Cup title twice in 2003 and 2007, respectively.

Australia loss to England in Ashes 2010 was enough to trigger the thinking caps for a review by the Cricket Australia. However, Ponting was ruled out of the series due to finger injury, sustained during the third Test match.

Media reports quoted the board official as saying, "We need to be looking at the future. It's time for us to make a change."

Following his injury, Clarke led Aussies in the remaining matches as a stand-in captain. The series loss added pressure to Ponting, as he became the only Aussies’ captain to lose the Ashes three times. Clarke then continued leading his team in the seven-match One-Day series, which Australia won 6-1 against English.

The skipper has also been criticized for his short-temperament, as in the ongoing tournament, he broke the TV in his dressing room after being run-out during Aussies’ group match win over Zimbabwe in this World Cup. Not only this, he was also noticed when he angrily hit the ball on the ground after colliding with his teammate Steven Smith, in an effort to pick the catch during the game against Canada.

The veteran has been part of the Australia’s four World Cup campaigns giving remarkable performances. Playing 41 World Cup innings, he has scored 1639 runs at an average of 44.29 including four centuries and six fifties. His highest score in the showpiece event is 140, against India at Johannesburg on 23rd March 2003. Ponting is the only player to smash 30 sixes in the World Cup history. He has scored more than 10,000 runs including 25 centuries in wins, standing second to Indian Sachin Tendulkar who amassed 33 centuries in wins.

Australia has won four group matches of the ICC World Cup 2011, one drawn due to rain interruption and one loss. This performance has placed them at third place in their group with nine points while Pakistan is at the top with ten points.

Aussies will now have their quarter-final with India on 24th March in Ahmedabad. Both teams earlier had their preliminary encounter in the tournament’s warm-up matches where India thrashed Australia.