The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ponting named Steve’s successor

Melbourne: Ricky Ponting will take over as Australian Test captain when Steve Waugh retires in January, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Friday.

CA chairman Bob Merriman said the board had decided to make the announcement early so that speculation about the new skipper would not overshadow Waugh’s farewell series. He also announced that wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist had been appointed vice-captain.

“The Test captaincy is one of Australia’s significant leadership roles,” Merriman said. “Given the strong public interest in the issue, we thought it would be prudent to avoid any unnecessary speculation and distraction throughout the summer by making this announcement today.”

Ponting, who replaced Waugh as Australian one-day skipper almost two years ago, said he was honoured to be given the job. “The one-day captaincy has given me a valuable insight into the characteristics required to be a successful leader and I’m confident I can transfer these skills across to the Test arena,” he said. Waugh, who announced on Wednesday he would be retiring after the four-Test series with India ends in January, said Ponting would make a great captain.

“I’ve always regarded Ricky as an outstanding leader,” Waugh said. “He’s been a very good captain in one-day cricket and an impressive deputy at Test level. His promotion to Test captain seems the logical move.”

Merriman said he hoped the announcement of Waugh’s successor would refocus attention to his final series after a stunning career that started in 1985.

“Stephen has been Australia’s most successful captain in Test cricket and he has certainly left the game in better shape than when he started his international career 18 seasons ago,” Merriman said. “We are confident that the Australian public will want to give him farewell appropriately over the next six weeks.”

Ponting was the obvious successor to Waugh after leading Australia to 43 victories in 54 matches as one-day captain including an unbeaten run through this year’s World Cup.

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