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Michael Clarke to replace Ponting as Australia captain

Michael Clarke and Shane Watson
Clarke (left) and Watson will lead Australia into a new era

Batsman Michael Clarke has been named as Australia's new Test and one-day international captain following Ricky Ponting's decision to stand down.

Cameron White will continue as Twenty20 captain, with Shane Watson as vice-captain in all forms of the game.

Clarke, who was Ponting's regular deputy, recently led Australia in their 6-1 one-day series win against England.

He said: "It's a great honour but at the same time a great surprise as I wasn't expecting Ricky to stand down."

Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke said the 29-year-old had shown himself an able skipper when standing in for Ponting in the past, having already led the team in 24 one-day internationals.

"Michael has shown himself to be excellent with his on field tactics when heading the national side," he said.

Clarke, who plays for New South Wales, made his highest Test score in January 2010 when he hit 168 against New Zealand.

Oliver Brett

He was Australia's player of the 2009 Ashes series and is his country's 43rd Test captain after leading them in the final Test against England in January after Ponting was sidelined with a finger injury.

"I have always respected those who have come before me in this role and humbled to think of my name being mentioned alongside theirs," Clarke said.

"I am grateful to Ricky Ponting for what I have learned from him, to the selectors and Cricket Australia for this opportunity, and am looking forward to the challenges ahead."

Vice-captain Watson, 29, said he was looking forward to working closely with Clarke and Twenty20 skipper White.

"Playing cricket for Australia has been a great honour for me and to now be appointed vice-captain is really exciting," the all-rounder said.

Shane Watson and Michael Clarke
Watson (left) will be vice-captain in all forms of the game

"I look forward to doing what I can to help and support Michael Clarke in the Test and ODI teams, and Cameron White with the Twenty20 group.

"There are challenges ahead but also opportunity and I look forward to being part of the leadership group as we work together to grasp that opportunity."

Despite stepping down from the captaincy, 36-year-old Ponting has been named in the 14-man Australia squad to play Bangladesh in three one-dayers in Mirpur in April.

Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty is also included after recovering from the back injury that kept him out of the World Cup, while there is also a place for uncapped seamer James Pattinson.

Paceman Shaun Tait, who has retired from 50-over cricket, and batsman David Hussey, who misses the tour as he awaits the birth of his first child, are the only names missing from the World Cup squad.

Australia begin the tour with a warm-up match on 7 April ahead of three ODIs on 9, 11 and 13 April.

Australia squad for one-day series in Bangladesh: Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin (wk), John Hastings, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine (wk), James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith, Cameron White.

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see also
Ponting resigns as Aussie captain
29 Mar 11 |  Australia
Tributes paid as Ponting resigns
29 Mar 11 |  Australia
India end Aussie World Cup reign
24 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Clarke quits Aussie Twenty20 side
07 Jan 11 |  Australia
Clarke appointed Twenty20 skipper
16 Oct 09 |  Australia

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