Hilditch backs Ponting to continue until 2013 Ashes

Cricket Australia’s chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch has given skipper Ricky Ponting his backing to continue playing until the 2013 Ashes.

Hilditch reckons that Ponting is the player who can play longer than others, and said he would be surprised if the 35-year-old does not get back to England for the series.

“His contribution to Australian cricket has been extraordinary, not just for his skills with the bat but also his leadership of the side. It’s been exceptional for a long period of time now. It’s hard to say if he will do it because you can’t get too far ahead of yourself in cricket unfortunately. But I know Ricky wants to get back to England,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Hilditch, as saying.

“Obviously age catches up with everybody, but one thing Ricky has got is he’s extremely fit. He has very few injuries and prepares himself very well physically and mentally. For me, that’s a sign he’s in a good place. I’ve probably never seen him fielding better than he has at the moment,” he added.

Hilditch further said that Ponting, who would be six months shy of his 39th birthday if he skippered a third Ashes series in England, had no reason to fear losing the captaincy.

“There’s always various things said about Ricky and his captaincy and stuff like that, but when it comes down to it Ricky is a great leader of men and he does a fantastic job within the side,” Hilditch said.

“He leads by example, he’s always rock solid and has the team heading in the right direction. He really unites the side,” he added. (ANI)

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