Bangalore, Sep 14: Mumbai Indians' mentor Anil Kumble has said dropping Ricky Ponting for the Champions League 2013 was a tough decision and the former Australia captain was disappointed at missing out.
Mumbai Indians, who picked Ponting at this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, named him as captain. But lack of runs forced the team management to drop him and hand the leadership responsibility to Rohit Sharma in IPL 6. Now, the Australian is also axed from Champions League, which starts from September 17.
"For a player of Ricky's stature, it's tough on him. But with the Champions League rules, we can only travel with a squad of 15 players, and only four foreigners can play in a game," Kumble said in an interview to the franchise's official website on Saturday.
"With the kind of balance we had struck in the second half of the IPL when Ricky sat out, it was tough to find a place for him in the squad. So we informed him about his exclusion, he obviously was disappointed, I am sure. But, that's the nature of the game," he added.
On the decision to pick Ponting for IPL, Kumble said they needed a "strong leader".
"Well, I felt we needed a strong leader. With the kind of experience Ricky brings in, and also the kind of attitude he brings to the team is vital. He showed that attitude and it rubbed on to the others. I am sure it made a difference. Unfortunately, Ricky lost his momentum in between, but it was great of him to take responsibility and sit out on his own," the former India captain said.
Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings in May to win this year's IPL.