Ricky Ponting says he’s still keen to play on the 2013 Ashes tour, citing Sachin Tendulkar’s stunning form at the age of 37 as inspiration.
The 36-year-old Ponting was forced to address retirement rumours on Wednesday following an inaccurate newspaper report stating he’d step down from international cricket if Australia lost their World Cup quarter-final against India in Ahmedabad.
Australia’s captain has been in poor form this summer, averaging only 16.14 in the Ashes and scoring 102 runs at 20.40 in the World Cup ahead of Thursday’s knockout clash.
“For some reason these retirement things keep popping up all the time,” Ponting told reporters on Wednesday.
“You probably shouldn’t always believe everything you read in the newspaper.”
Ponting admitted he had looked at trying to play some English County cricket this year as preparation for the Test tour of Sri Lanka in August.
Britain’s Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that Test cricket’s second-leading runscorer planned to retire from the national side after the World Cup and finish his career at an English county.
“I can actually understand it a little bit. The county cricket stuff that came up (in the article), that’s truth,” Ponting said.
“I actually looked at trying to play some county cricket before the Sri Lanka tour this year for the fact that I will be coming off three months of no cricket and I thought we were going straight into Test matches.
“That’s why my management had a look around a few of the counties, to see if they were interested.
“As it worked out, our programs just didn’t line up. The Twenty20s and one-dayers were mainly on in England at that time and I wanted to get some four-day cricket under my belt before the Test matches in Sri Lanka.
“It didn’t work out and I certainly won’t be going there to play this year.”
Ponting said he hoped to take some inspiration from Tendulkar’s stunning form with the bat.
“Sachin has had an amazing couple of years,” Ponting said.
“It’s absolutely inspirational for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re my age or 25.
“If you go through a form slump, if you stick to the things that have worked for you through your career, then eventually things will turn around.”
Ponting repeated his commitment to lead Australia’s one-day side for next month’s tour of Bangladesh.
“If Cricket Australia (officials) or selectors believe there’s someone out there better to captain the team that I play in then so be it. If it happens to be that I’m good enough to be playing in the team with another captain then so be it as well,” he said.
“I’ll know when the time’s right to step aside as captain and step aside as a player. But right now I don’t think it’s the right time.”
Ponting said aiming for the Ashes in 2013 was “maybe a realistic thing”.
“I’d love to be able to do that,” he said.
“Other players around the world at my age are doing it pretty well and pretty regularly so certainly there’s some ambition there for me to be good enough to get back to playing the way I want to play.”