Ricky Ponting rejects retirement talk

Ahmedabad: Embattled he might be, but Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting on Wednesday rejected reports that he is planning to retire after his team`s World Cup campaign, saying that he has not given a thought to the idea.

A London-based newspaper today claimed that the 36-year-old batsman, who is struggling for runs in the ongoing event, would end his career after his team`s campaign and look for a county stint in England.

But Ponting rejected the speculation ahead of the quarterfinal clash against India here tomorrow.

"I`ve never ever thought about retirement or where the finish line might be," Ponting said.

"I`ve been trying to prepare myself as best I can as a player and lead the team as well as possible. For some reason, these retirement things keep popping up all the time. As we all know, you probably shouldn`t always believe everything you read in the newspaper," he was quoted as saying by `ESPNCricinfo`.

Ponting`s future is under a cloud due to the batting slump and Australia`s decline both in Tests and ODIs. The media Down Under is, in fact, abuzz with speculation that the feisty right-hander could even be sacked if the team fails to lift its fifth World Cup title.

But the man in question remained unfazed.

"It looks like every few weeks now I`m having to answer that question. I`m enjoying it as much as ever. We`ve got a big game coming up against India that I`m looking forward to, and more importantly I`m looking forward to getting out there and performing well as a player," he said.