Ponting to miss final ODI against Sri Lanka to prepare for Ashes

Saturday, November 6, 2010

MELBOURNE - To help Ricky Ponting prepare for the upcoming Ashes series, the selectors have rested the Australian skipper from Sunday’s final ODI against Sri Lanka.

Ponting made just 10 in his side’s 29-run loss to Sri Lanka at the SCG on Friday night, giving the tourists their maiden series win on Australian soil.

The rain-affected match was also Australia’s seventh straight defeat in all forms of the game dating back to July.

Ponting, who also missed Wednesday night’s one-wicket loss at the MCG, will now head to Tasmania to prepare for the Tigers in a Sheffield Shield match against Queensland.

The Shield clash at Bellerive Oval does not start until Wednesday, but Australia’s selectors have opted to give him plenty of time to prepare for the crucial Ashes series, which start with the first Test at the Gabba on November 25.

“As the series against Sri Lanka has been decided the (selectors have) an ideal opportunity to provide Ricky with two solid weeks of red-ball cricket,” said full-time selector Greg Chappell.

“This allows him what we believe to be the best preparation to lead the Australian Test match team in Brisbane for the first Ashes Test match,” he said. (ANI)

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