Click here to see the video of Ricky Ponting's press conference
Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from international Twenty20 cricket in a bid to extend his Test and ODI playing career. Ponting will retain the captaincy of Australia's Test and one-day sides and Michael Clarke is expected to take the reins of the Twenty20 outfit, although a formal decision on Ponting's successor has not yet been made.
"After much thought and careful consideration I have advised Cricket Australia of my decision to retire from international Twenty20 cricket," Ponting said in a statement. "I have also spoken to [chairman of selectors] Andrew Hilditch, [coach] Tim Nielsen and [vice-captain] Michael Clarke and I feel this decision provides me the opportunity to prolong my Australian Test and one-day career, an opportunity I am extremely determined about.
"As I said after the fifth Test in London, I am hoping to continue playing Test cricket for as long as possible and retiring from the Twenty20 format gives me the best chance of doing this. I will now have set periods of rest throughout the Australian summer and while touring which I feel will be very beneficial."
Ponting will continue to fulfil his Indian Premier League contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders and will be available for Tasmania in the domestic Twenty20 competition. Ponting has played 17 Twenty20 internationals and the unbeaten 98 he scored in the first Twenty20 international remains the second-highest individual score in the format.
However, Ponting has been rested several times from Twenty20 matches with Clarke, Adam Gilchrist and Brad Haddin having all captained Australia in the short version. Ponting was keen to deliver Australia the ICC World Twenty20 title this year but their first-round exit meant they would have to wait until the next tournament in the Caribbean next year.
"We are very supportive of the decision Ricky has made and understanding of the reasons behind it," James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's CEO, said. "Needless to say he will be a huge loss to the Twenty20 side but it does present opportunities for the other players and leaders within Australian cricket to gain further experience.
"While we have not seen much of Ricky in Australia's Twenty20 matches in recent times, his innings in the first ever Twenty20 international against New Zealand at Auckland was probably the best innings I have ever seen in the Twenty20 form of the game."
Cricket Australia said Ponting's replacement as Twenty20 captain would not be announced until later in the year. Clarke led the side during the recent games in England but Australia do not have another Twenty20 international on their schedule until February 2010, when they take on Pakistan at the MCG.Ponting has had a two-week break following Australia's Ashes defeat and he flew out from Sydney on Monday to rejoin the squad in England for the remainder of the one-day series. After the loss at The Oval, Ponting raised the possibility of returning to England for the 2013 Ashes, when he would be 38, and he has also expressed his desire to lead Australia's World Cup defence in 2011