County cricket is out of the question: Ponting

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Published: Friday, March 23, 2012, 18:37 [IST]
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No county cricket for Ponting this year

Melbourne, Mar 23: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Friday rejected the chance to play county cricket this year as he prepares himself to play one last Ashes series in England in 2013.

"It [county cricket] doesn't really fit into what I'm looking at doing.

"I'm looking forward to having more time with the Tasmanian Tigers and spending time with the family so county cricket is out of the question", Ponting said.

Ponting's manager James Henderson denied reports via Twitter after the 37-year-old had been linked with English side Somerset.

Ponting has decided to rest after the tour of West Indies as the veteran batsman is in pursuit of extending his Test career and play another Ashes series.

"Ricky is not turning his back on playing county cricket in the future but the 2012 season does not line up with his current priorities," Henderson said.

"He will not be playing cricket from after the West Indies tour through until the start of the Sheffield Shield season. He will use the down time to spend more time with his family and refresh after a hectic past nine months."

Ponting, who retired as Test captain in March last year, had a brief stint with the English side back in 2004.

Ponting admitted that he had to work hard in the past year and start fresh before the Australian summer.

"It's been a hard 12 months for me personally and around my cricket.

"With things not going as smoothly as I wanted at the start of the year, I had to train harder and work harder on my game and think more about my game than ever before.

"It's taken its toll a little bit, so I need to have a chance to refresh and recharge my batteries and get a solid pre-season under my belt before the Australian summer."

Ponting was dropped from the limited overs squad during the recent tri-series against India and Sri Lanka.

Ponting scored 544 runs against India with an average of 108.80 which ended in a 4-0 whitewash of India earlier this year.

Australia captain Michael Clarke has backed Ponting to remain in the side for the Ashes tour in England.


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