World Cup doubt over Ponting
Aussie skipper stays behind as Aussies head for World Cup.
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 07/09/07 8:19am
Ponting: World Cup doubt
Australia captain Ricky Ponting could be a doubt for the Twenty20 World Cup due to "private family reasons" which prevented him from travelling when the squad left for South Africa.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Ponting's availability for the tournament would be re-assessed later in the week, but admitted may miss out.
While Ponting is missing, vice-captain Adam Gilchrist will take charge of the squad, as he would do in the tournament should Ponting not make it.
"The situation is expected to be clearer later in the week, at which time Ponting's availability would be re-assessed," Sutherland said.
"Any decision on whether or not a squad replacement is needed will be assessed at that time as well.
"In the meantime, Adam Gilchrist will head the squad as he has done with distinction on previous occasions.
"Our captain is obviously disappointed not to be with the team for the start of tour and has asked if his privacy could be respected in the meantime."
Ponting is one of three Australians missing from the squad, with all-rounder Shane Watson suffering from a hamstring injury while paceman Stuart Clark's son is ill.
Gilchrist says he has spoken to Ponting and is hoping that the captain, along with Watson and Clark, will all join the squad in the coming days.
"I've spoken to Punter, he's said that he's most likely at the moment going to join us in a few days' time, but we'll just wait and see how things pan out in the next couple of days," Gilchrist said.
"We're heading over a little light in numbers, but I think everything will be fine. In a few days' time when things settle, we'll most likely get the three players that aren't travelling with us today back."
Australia will play two warm-up games against New Zealand on Saturday and South Africa on Sunday, before their opening group match with Zimbabwe in Cape Town.