‘I fought to keep him’ – Michael Clarke on his efforts to save Ricky Ponting from getting dropped from the Australian team
Ponting stepped down as the Aussie skipper after the 2011 World Cup.
Updated - May 23, 2021 11:22 am
Michael Clarke, the former Australian cricketer, said that he saved Ricky Ponting from getting dropped from the national team. Ponting stepped down from captaincy after the 2011 edition of the World Cup after which Clarke took over. The Aussie cricketers, mostly, retire after giving up captaincy as was the case for Steve Waugh, Allan Border, and Clarke himself.
Clarke backed Ponting to continue as a player and believed in his potential to continue his stint at the highest level. The latter last played international cricket in December 2012 in a Test against South Africa in Perth. Though he couldn’t score big in his swansong, he garnered loads of praises.
Clarke said that Australia needed Ponting, not only as a batsman but also as a coach. Clarke put forth his opinions while speaking to former NRL star Brett Finch on his ‘Uncensored’ podcast.
We think the grass is greener all the time: Michael Clarke
“When I took over the captaincy, that’s why I fought to keep Ricky. The selectors said, ‘Very rarely does a captain stand down and stay in the team, so if you don’t feel comfortable … it’s time for Ricky to go’. I said, ‘We need him. We need him for his batting, but he’ll be another coach for us’. So I fought hard to keep him, I wanted him there,” Clarke said.
“I thought he played a big part in helping that younger generation get to the level we needed to. If he was batting at 80 percent, he was better than anybody else at No. 3 or No. 4. We think the grass is greener all the time. Very rarely is it,” he stated.
In 2013, Ponting, in his autobiography, revealed that he didn’t get the support he expected to from Clarke. The latter admitted the same in his autobiography as well.
“I dreamt of playing for Australia, but I never dreamt of captaining Australia. I found it really difficult when I was vice-captain that there was an expectation that I was always going to be the next captain. I hated that,” he added.
In 2015, Clarke ended his journey for the Aussies after leading the national team to World Cup glory, beating New Zealand in the final.