Sydney: Australia captain Michael Clarke admitted on Friday that he supports the decision to drop Ricky Ponting from the one-day international squad, but says the former captain's ODI career may not be over.
Speaking for the first time since Ponting was dropped, Clarke said it was unlikely but Ponting could still return to the 50-over line-up.
"I think the one thing is the door is never closed on anybody. Who knows what can happen in this very weird and tough game that we play, but there is no doubt Ricky not being in the team has shown that we are looking towards the 2015 World Cup and giving some young guys an opportunity," Clarke said.
Clarke said his role in dropping Ricky Ponting from the ODI squad will not strain his relationship with the former skipper.
Clarke said he did not let his friendship with Ponting come in between his role as a selector and playing a crucial role in ending the legendary batsmen's illustrious ODI career. Ponting accepted the end of his ODI career but has vowed to carry on in Test cricket.
Clarke said he will continue to enjoy playing with Ponting in Test cricket.
"He's certainly going to be missed. I've been great friends with Punter for a long time and that certainly won't change. But I've also played a lot of one-day cricket with him and it's going to feel really weird looking around the field and not seeing him," he said.
Clarke said his friendship with Ponting is strong and won't be affected by this decision.
"Ricky was captain for a long time and while he wasn't a selector he played a big part in selecting the 11 players that took the field. I remember getting dropped after the Test match against the West Indies and Punter was the one who came up and told me I hadn't been selected. He certainly knows it's not personal. I'm very confident our friendship is a lot stronger than that," he said.
"I'm 100 percent part of the selection panel. That's now part of the captain's job. We've made this decision as a panel. It is tough not having the great Ricky Ponting out there playing for us, but that's the decision we've made. Obviously, the 2015 World Cup is something we have spoken about as a panel. I'm 100 percent part of that."
Former coach Tim Nielsen, however, said Ponting deserved a farewell at his home ground.
"Sometimes I wonder if we look after our greatest well enough. One more ODI would have no impact on planning for 2015 WC (World Cup). Even if RP didn't want it, talk to him enough that he understands that people close to him and especially in Tas [Tasmania] would enjoy and maybe deserve that one last game," he said.