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Ponting steps down as Australia captain

Last updated on: March 29, 2011 09:19 IST

Ricky Ponting, the most successful captain in Test cricket, stepped down as Australia skipper on Tuesday but will continue as a batsman with the team.

The 36-year-old, who has led Australia in one day internationals since 2002 and Tests since 2004, has been under pressure after an Ashes defeat to England earlier this year and a quarter-final exit as defending champions at the World Cup.

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Michael Clarke, who stood in for the injured Ponting in the final Ashes Test and for the one-day series against England that followed it, is expected to replace his mentor as skipper.

"I've had no tap on the shoulder from anyone. This is a decision wholly and solely from me. I thought the timing was spot on," Ponting said at a press conference in Sydney.

Photograph: Getty Images

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