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'Ponting is an elephant in the room'

IANS
Nov 30, 2011 at 04:09pm IST

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Sydney: Former New Zealand captain Chris Cairns called Australian great Ricky Ponting the "elephant in the room" and said Cricket Australia (CA) needs to end his 16-year Test career.

The legendary allrounder feels that Ponting's retirement is the best way forward for Australian cricket.

"I don't think you can have two years averaging 27 as a No 3. I think it's his (Ponting) time. And when you look at the likes of Mark Taylor, [Ian] Healy, Mark Waugh - they were told it was their time. And there's an elephant in the room at the moment in Ricky Ponting that nobody is really addressing," Cairns was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Ponting is an elephant in the room: Cairns

Ricky Ponting raises his bat after reaching a half century against South Africa at the Wanderers. (AP Photo)

Cairns feels Ponting should retire after the second Test against New Zealand in Hobart.

"Don't get me wrong, I've got the utmost respect for Ricky Ponting but there's a time and a place. And for me, his time and place is Hobart in the second Test against New Zealand. That's to say, 'Thanks very much'," he said.

Carins said Australian selectors needed to make the hard call on the soon-to-be 37-year-old.

"Australia for me was an uncompromising cricket nation, but I've felt there's been decisions they make that have been compromising (in) the last couple of years. They've allowed Ricky to keep going because of his stature in the game and who he is," Cairns said.

"But why should he have to make the call? At the end of the day, for me, Australia has always been about the team and what's best. He is behind Bradman, Australia's greatest batsman, so they're managing it. But I just think it's an elephant in the room. I really do. Australia has got rebuilding to do," he said.

Meanwhile former Australian great, Mark Waugh felt that Ricky Ponting's place in the team should be based on merit and not stature.

Waugh said Ponting brings in a lot of experience in the team but he has to use it to score runs.

Waugh also felt that allrounder Shane Watson should drop down from the opening slot to the middle order to get the most out of his game.

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