Despite axeing, Ponting-Clarke to remain friends

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Published: Friday, February 24, 2012, 17:50 [IST]
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Pup to remain friends with Punter

Melbourne, Feb 24: Australian skipper Michael Clarke has said he will remain friends and continue working with veteran batsman Ricky Ponting despite being a part of the selection panel's decision to axe the ex-skipper from the one-day team.

"I'm 100 per cent part of the selection panel. That's now part of the captain's job. We've made this decision as a panel. It is tough not having the great Ricky Ponting out there playing for us but that's the decision we've made. Obviously the 2015 World Cup is something we have spoken about as a panel. I'm 100 per cent part of that," Clarke told a newspaper.

"Ricky was captain for a long time and while he wasn't a selector he played a big part in selecting the 11 players that took the field. I remember getting dropped after the Test match against the West Indies and Punter was the one who came up and told me I hadn't been selected. He certainly knows it's not personal. I'm very confident our friendship is a lot stronger than that," he added.

Clarke said he hoped Ponting would play "a lot more Test cricket" but also said that Ponting's axing from the one-day format is a wake up call for other seniors in the team to stand up and fill the breach.

"I've been great friends with Punter for a long time and that certainly won't change. But I've also played a lot of one-day cricket with him and it's going to feel really weird looking around the field and not seeing him there," Clarke said.

"I'll miss his guidance, his friendship, his experience around the group, his knowledge of this game. They are things that no matter how much talent you have as a young player, the experience and knowledge of the game you need to learn," he added.


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