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Saturday 18 November 2017

Cricket: Ponting refusing to consider retirement

Ponting: not retiring Photo: Getty Images
Ponting: not retiring Photo: Getty Images

Australia captain Ricky Ponting insists he has no plans to retire after the World Cup.

The 36-year-old was adamant yesterday, on the eve of Australia's quarter-final against India, that he wants to continue playing both Test and one-day international cricket.

"I don't see the finish line, I want to keep playing both forms of the game as long as I think I can contribute," said Ponting, his country's all-time leading run-scorer in Tests and ODIs.

"Nothing's changed for me in the past 12 months. I've said all along, every time I've been asked about retirement, that I'm enjoying my cricket as much as ever.

"I've never, ever thought about retirement or where the finish line might be. I've been trying to prepare myself as best I can as a player and lead the side as well as possible.

"For some reason, these retirement things keep popping up all the time."

Ponting admitted he had looked into the possibility of playing county cricket in England, but claimed that would not be happening this year.

"I looked at trying to play some county cricket before the Sri Lanka tour (next August) 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," he said. "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 programmes just didn't line up. I certainly won't be going there (England) to play this year."

Meanwhile, India are sweating on the fitness of opener Virender Sehwag, who missed his side's last Group B match against the West Indies on Sunday.

The explosive batsman had earlier been hit on the rib during a net session last month and rushed to Delhi to consult his personal physician before joining the squad.

The winners will face a semi-final against Pakistan, who ruthlessly crushed the West Indies by 10 wickets yesterday, with Mohammad Hafeez starring with bat and ball. The result was never in doubt once the West Indies fell apart after choosing to bat first, with only three players reaching double figures in a paltry total of 112.

Shahid Afridi (4-30) took his tournament-leading tally to 21 wickets as Pakistan's three spinners finished with 8-64 combined.

After taking two top-order wickets, Hafeez (61 not out) opened the batting with Kamran Akmal (47 not out) and shared a 113-run partnership to guide Pakistan to victory with almost 30 overs to spare.

India v Australia,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 9.0am

Irish Independent

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