Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has been in the news over the last few days for his shocking revelations regarding his career and Australian cricket. The 2015 World Cup winning captain came up with another such incident on Tuesday when he revealed that the Australian cricket board would have dropped Ricky Ponting in 2012 had he not retired.
Ponting, who made his debut in 1995, took over as the Australian ODI captain in 2002 and was a part of three successful World Cup campaigns which also included a 34 match winning streak - a record that very few people can match. Clarke, through his autobiography, revealed that former selector John Inverarity had made up his mind before the Perth Test match against the South Africans that Ponting would be dropped subsequently regardless of how much he scored.
ESPNCricinfo quoted Clarke as saying in his book, "John confides that the other selectors have made their minds up that Perth will be Ricky's last Test match, whether he scores nought or a hundred."
Ponting led the Australian team between the period of 2002 to 2011. Nicknamed as "Punter", the Tasmanian holds several records to his name. To name a few, he holds the record of being part of a team with the most ODI wins-262 , has played the most number of World Cup matches-46 and his score of 242 runs against India is the highest individual score in a Test innings in a losing cause.
A continuous run of failures against South Africa in the home series in 2012 forced him to call it a day. The Perth Test on 29th November 2012 was his final game in international cricket.
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In his autobiography 'Ponting: At the Close of Play' which released in 2013, Ponting had written about his rough relationship with Clarke and a feeling that he wasn't well supported by Clarke as his deputy. Clarke, in his autobiography, has agreed to Ponting's claims and said that he shouldn't have been made the deputy in the first place.
He wrote: "In his autobiography, Ricky wrote that he was 'disappointed with some of the things I did as vice-captain'. He didn't accuse me of being treacherous or disruptive but said I was reluctant to get involved in planning meetings or daily debriefs and take on a leadership role. When my private life was turbulent, he said, I would go into my shell. He was right. I was not a good vice-captain to him."
While Clarke has been coming out with some startling revelations in the last few weeks, it remains to be seen if the players that he has talked about have any contrasting opinions.