Clarkecalledit right:Ponting

Ricky Ponting and Michael ClarkeFORMER Australian captain Ricky Ponting says personal experience tells him his successor Michael Clarke has chosen the right time to retire from international cricket.

In the wake of Australia’s Ashes debacle and Clarke’s subsequent announcement, Ponting even admitted he may have waited too long to make the same decision.

‘‘Since I retired I have realised I went on too long and Michael doesn’t want to be in the same boat,’’ the Mowbray batsman told Sky Sports.

‘‘I think it’s the right time as he has been fighting inner demons and battling his game for the last 12-18 months.’’

Ponting, who handed over the captaincy to Clarke in 2011 but continued to play for another year, has previously admitted he played on two years longer than he should have done.

He said only Clarke will know whether the time was right in the aftermath of the humiliating innings defeat at Trent Bridge which gave England an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.

‘‘None of us know but if he says it’s the right time, it’s obviously the right time,’’ Ponting told Cricinfo.

‘‘I had a meeting with him at Lord’s talking about the last part of my career and I said to him that when the things that used to come really easy to you don’t come so easy any more then it’s the right time and I think we’ve seen in this series a lot of the things that he would do quite easily a few years ago seem to be really hard to him.’’

Ponting said Clarke would share similar positives, and the same glaring regret, from his own international career.

’’ If he’s anything like me he’ll be most fond of his longevity in the game. Not necessarily about how many hundreds but how long you played for and how many wins you’ve been involved in, they were the things that I cherished the most when I finished.

‘‘He’s been part of a couple of World Cup wins and obviously captaining one in Australia would have been an unbelievable thrill for him.

‘‘Unfortunately, like me he wasn’t able to win an Ashes series here in England and that’s one thing that he probably will have a regret about, as I did.’’

Ponting had already tipped that as many as eight members of the tourists’ squad will not play Test cricket again following a fourth successive Ashes defeat on British soil.

He said he was pleased that Clarke would get a farewell match at The Oval next week.

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