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Australia captain Ricky Ponting not planning to retire

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 quarter-final: Australia v India
Venue: Ahmedabad Date: Thursday, 24 March (0900 GMT)
Tournament dates: 19 February-2 April Venues: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Coverage: Highlights on BBC Two (see listings), Red Button & online at 2200 GMT (UK only); live Test Match Special commentary (BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online); text commentary online and mobiles; live on Sky Sports

Ricky Ponting
Ponting says he will not be playing county cricket in England this summer

Australia captain Ricky Ponting says he has no plans to retire from cricket after the World Cup.

Ponting, 36, has come under fire as he has struggled with the bat and lost his cool at times during the tournament.

But on the eve of Australia's quarter-final against India, Ponting insisted he wants to continue playing at both Test and one-day international level.

"I don't see the finish line, I want to keep playing both forms as long as I think I can contribute," he said.

"Nothing's changed for me in the past 12 months. I've said all along, every time I've been asked about retirement, 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 said it would not be happening this year.

BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

"I actually looked at trying to play some county cricket before the Sri Lanka tour [in August] 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 added.

"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."

Ponting's future has been the subject of some speculation ahead of Thursday's meeting with co-hosts India.

But former Australia wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Gilchrist hopes his old team-mate will take inspiration from predecessor Steve Waugh's innings of 120 against South Africa en route to their 1999 title.

"In 1999 there were rumours Steve Waugh would lose the captaincy but he went on to score one of the great World Cup hundreds," stated Gilchrist, who starred for Australia's World Cup-winning sides in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

"We later won the World Cup so maybe this is the inspiration Ricky needs."

Ponting has failed to score an international century since hitting 106 in an ODI against West Indies in Brisbane on 14 February last year.

Since then, he has batted in 18 of Australia's last 19 one-dayers without reaching three figures - while also leading his country to an Ashes series defeat against England for the third time.

He has continued to struggle at the World Cup where he has averaged 20.4 from five innings and made other headlines for the wrong reasons.

The Australia captain was reprimanded by the International Cricket Council for damaging a television during his side's 91-run win over Zimbabwe in their opening match of the tournament, although he later played down the incident.

Ponting then reacted furiously after he collided with team-mate Steve Smith while taking a catch as Australia defeated Canada by seven wickets and angrily threw the ball into the ground.

Ricky Ponting and Steve Smith collide
Ponting reacted angrily after colliding with Smith while taking this catch

Then, his sportsmanship was questioned for not "walking" following his dismissal in last Saturday's defeat by Pakistan as Ponting appeared to edge spinner Mohammad Hafeez into the gloves of keeper Kamran Akmal but was given not out, and Pakistan called for a review.

By the time the TV replays showed a clear edge and the third umpire indicated that Ponting should be given out, a row had broken out in the middle, with his batting partner Brad Haddin angrily confronting Pakistan's Younus Khan.

That four-wicket defeat brought Australia's 34-match unbeaten World Cup run to an end - and a report in Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper quoted "a senior Cricket Australia official" who suggested that Ponting faces a big battle at board level to keep his job and could be replaced before next month's tour of Bangladesh.

Gilchrist, who was Ponting's vice-captain before retiring in 2008, said the skipper had "earned the right" to discuss his future with Cricket Australia after the tournament.

Earlier, batsman Michael Hussey and paceman Mitchell Johnson had both stated that Ponting, who attracted criticism for his dressing down of team-mate Smith after their collision, has the full support of the squad.

Ponting has been involving in three World Cup-winning campaigns and Johnson said that the squad need him at the helm.

"He's a guy we all look up to," commented Johnson. "He has copped a fair bit lately and he's dealing with it in his own way. He's got that experience to be able to deal with it.

"I don't think he's thinking about it too much, he's just worried about this next game."

Hussey also tipped Ponting to end his bad run of poor form with the bat, which has triggered some angry moments on and off the field, against India.

"It's just amazing sometimes how champions just rise to the occasion at the right time," reflected Hussey. "Against India in the World Cup is one of those times where I think we'll see the best of Ricky Ponting."

Ponting is brilliantly run out against Zimbabwe (UK users only)

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