Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from International Twenty20 cricket in the hope that it will help him to extend his Test Match and ODI career. He will continue to captain the Test and 50 over sides and is also set to honour the last year of his current IPL contract with Kolkata Knight Riders as well as remaining available to Tasmania in all the domestic competitions.
In taking this decision Ponting has shown great leadership in the world of cricket by showing that in his opinion playing Test cricket is still the pinnacle. He went on to say “As I said after the fifth Test in London, I am hoping to continue playing Test cricket for as long as possible and retiring from the Twenty20 format gives me the best chance of doing this. I will now have set periods of rest throughout the Australian summer and while touring which I feel will be very beneficial.”
Ponting already has history of putting Test cricket first after deciding to – again taking the lead – sit out the second year of his IPL contract in a bid to prepare properly and rest ahead of the Ashes tour.
In taking this decision he will give himself more periods throughout the season for rest and time away from the pressures of leading a team currently going through a period of transformation. With the ever demanding Australian press and public wanting to know what has gone wrong with the side over the last 12 months, the responsibility of being captain hasn’t been as testing as this for years – a strain which must be taking its toll on Ponting.
It would have been a very easy way out to walk away from all the pressuse and just take the money on offer and play in the shorter forms of the game. In doing it this way Ponting shows in which order his cricketing priorities sit, I hope he gets the recognition he deserves for his attempts to try and preserve Test Match cricket as the ultimate prize in the game.