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Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Ponting puts Ashes ahead of IPL

Ricky Ponting
Ponting hopes tol play for Kolkata in the 2010 IPL

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has revealed he will not not play in the Indian Premier League this year because of his international commitments.

Ponting, 34, was due to play for the Kolkata Knight Riders but pulled out to concentrate on the Ashes this summer.

"There was no way I could give my all for Australia if I used the only two-week break we have to play in India," he wrote in The Australian newspaper.

"It doesn't get any more important than the games we've got coming up."

The international cricket calendar has become further congested with the introduction of the IPL and Ponting said with such a busy summer ahead he needed to give himself the best chance to prepare.

"We have something to prove to the South Africans and the world. After that it is the ICC Twenty20 championship and then we have the Ashes. And nobody needs to be told how much that matters.

"On Monday we were jetting off to South Africa for three Tests, five one-day matches and Twenty20 games.


"The one-day series against Pakistan starts immediately after this trip ends, then there is a two-week break and from then it is on to the Twenty20 World Cup, the Ashes, a one-day series in India, the Australian summer and on and on."

He did add, however, that he plans to play for Kolkata in the IPL in 2010.

Australia team-mate Michael Clarke also withdrew from this year's big-money tournament, citing similar reasons as Ponting.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have allowed Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood to play for a maximum three weeks of the six-week IPL season while Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah have also been signed up to play in India.

Pietersen, Flintoff and Collingwood will all then be included in England's squad for the first Test against the West Indies at Lord's starting on 6 May.

England all-rounder Stuart Broad ruled himself out of contention for the IPL to concentrate on his flourishing Test career.

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see also
England players top IPL auction
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Five to watch at the IPL auction
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