Cricket: Ponting to walk says English paper

Australian captain Ricky Ponting plans to retire from international cricket at the end of his team's World Cup campaign, according to an English news website.

MailOnline claimed in an unsourced report on Wednesday that Ponting, Australia's most successful skipper, would resign if his side lost to India in Thursday's quarter-final in Ahmedabad.

The website said Ponting wants to end his career captaining an English county side.

The 36-year-old has come under increasing pressure recently after a string of poor performances with the bat and several shows of frustration.

Read: Andrew Alderson's quarterfinal predictions

Ponting's manager James Henderson was not immediately available for comment.

The report threatens to be a major distraction as Australia prepare for their heavyweight knockout clash with India, with Ponting certain to face questions about it in his pre-match media conference on Wednesday.

Ponting on Tuesday received support from teammates and Australian Cricketers Association chief Paul Marsh after a report claimed he could lose the captaincy for the upcoming Bangladesh tour.

Fairfax newspaper quoted an unnamed Cricket Australia official as saying it was "time to make a change".

Marsh was infuriated by the report, claiming it was ``gutless'' for a CA official to forecast Ponting's axing.

Australian batsman Mike Hussey was among the players who leapt to Ponting's defence on Tuesday.

"I hope that's all untrue," Hussey said of speculation Ponting could face the axe.

"We love having him as our captain."

Ponting has managed just 102 runs at 20.40 at the World Cup, less than half his 358-match career average.

He has not scored a one-day international century in more than a year, his most recent coming when he struck 106 against the West Indies February 2010 at the Gabba.

Ponting's frustrations have boiled over in recent matches.

He had an on-field clash with team-mate Steve Smith in the win over Canada and received a reprimand from the ICC for damaging a dressing room TV screen earlier in the tournament.


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