Melbourne, Feb 22: Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden has slammed the selectors for axing Ricky Ponting from the limited overs format and has termed his decision to quit ODIs as 'disgraceful' on Tuesday.
Former captain, Ponting, who has represented Australia in 375 ODIs and 162 Tests having scored 13,704 and 13,200 respectively had said, he did not expect to play again for Australia in ODIs after being dropped from the national squad on Monday and said he would continue to play Test cricket.
"It was disgraceful treatment of our modern day Bradman. I feel speechless. The logic that (Ponting) was left out so we can prepare for the next World Cup is just lost on me.
"It just looks as if he is being pushed further and further away from the team and I don't understand why. We should be celebrating the fact that he is still around and available to play," Hayden said.
Hayden also said that its difficult to find another batsman like Ponting.
"We are trying to rush him out of the door to find another Ricky Ponting yet I cannot see who the next Ponting is. What message is this sending to other cricketers around Australia?" Hayden was quoted as saying by "Daily Telegraph".
"You have a batsman who averaged 100 in his last Test series against India and he gets treated like this. It's outrageous. I thought it said so much about him that he is prepared to go back and play club cricket for Mowbray even though he has not got time to scratch himself."
Hayden further added as he said unnecessary pressure was being put on Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar in order to end their careers.
"There seems to be this momentum against Ricky and Sachin Tendulkar this summer which just does not make sense. Ricky's passion for the game is extraordinary. This decision is against the fabric of what our game should be all about."
He further added saying Ponting was considered for his leadership qualities than as a batsman.
"What more does one individual have to do than what he did in his last Test series? I just don't see who is going to take this group forward in terms of leadership. He is such a multi-dimensional player.
"He is not only one of the great players but he works harder than anyone. I know that from talking to (batting coach) Justin Langer, Ricky is still the last to leave training. Yet there seems to be this movement that is pushing him out of the game," he said.
With many comments coming up, the issue is being the hot favourite amongst everyone. With Ponting's retirement, Tendulkar is feeling the heat too, as he is facing a lot of criticism for not taking a call on his ODI career.