Chappell doesn’t want Ponting in dressing room

Monday, January 3, 2011

SYDNEY - Cricketer-turned-commentator Ian Chappell continued with his scathing remarks over Ricky Ponting’s captaincy and Monday objected to his presence in the Australian dressing room during the fifth and last Ashes Test in Sydney.

Chappell feels Ponting, who is out of the final Ashes Test due to a broken finger, should have stayed away from the dressing room to give freedom to stand-in captain Michael Clarke.

Ponting sat in the room Monday and was also seen chatting with the players during the nets.

“I think there should be someone in the Australian set-up who says, ‘Look Ricky, you are not captain in this game. Michael Clarke is captain,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Chappell as saying.

“I think it would have been better if Ricky had been away from the team and just left it to Clarke. It is not Clarke’s team as yet but I just think it would have been much fairer to him if Ricky had not been around.”

Chappell has been strongly advocating the need for a change of guard and feels Ponting will not return as Test skipper. “It is unrealistic to talk about going on as the Australian captain,” Chappell said.

“As far as I am concerned, that was his last Test in Melbourne as captain and it is time to move in a new direction, and you do not move in a new direction with the team and keep the old captain.”

Clarke, however, had said that Ponting’s presence is proving to be beneficial for the team.

“I am very comfortable (with Ricky around),he said. I spoke to Ricky openly when I found out he was not going to play this Test match and actually asked how he felt about being around,” Clarke said Sunday.

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