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Ponting to quit after 2011 World Cup

Melbourne: Ricky Ponting has told teammates he will quit after the 2011 World Cup in the sub continent. Matthew Hayden, the oldest player in the Australian team, has an eye on joining him.

Hayden told The Sunday Age he had no plans to quit despite widespread speculation the series opener against India this week would be his last Boxing Day Test.

Hayden, 36, vowed to push his career as close as he can to the age of 40. “I’m not retiring,” Hayden said

“I look at the training and my fitness as being the benchmarks. We did our tests running between the wickets and I was second to Pup (Michael Clarke). For the beep tests I’m still in the top four. I started later than a lot of guys so I haven’t got the wear and tear.”

Ponting’s first rumblings about retirement leave him with three more years in the game. Barring injuries, the Australian skipper is expected to retire with every batting record in Tests and one-dayers.

Stricter norms for fans

Fans at Australia’s first Test against India could be banned from the Melbourne Cricket Ground for life if they are found to be involved in racial taunting of players and other fans, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Sunday.

Anyone caught doing so by undercover surveillance officers would be ejected from the ground and face further action, a CA spokesman told Melbourne’s Herald Sun.

“Our message to any mindless people who are thinking of going down that path is we won’t tolerate that sort of thing,” CA spokesman Peter Young told the newspaper.

“We will find anyone who does it, they will be ejected from the ground and they face life bans from ever re-entering the ground.”

Police will also be checking for any offensive or racist slogans on banners while patrons will be encouraged to report any behaviour to groundstaff or the police.

The players’ behaviour will also be monitored.

Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds was the subject of alleged racial abuse on their tour of India earlier this year.

The first match of the four-Test series between Australia and India begins at the MCG on Wednesday.

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