'We're not producing enough high quality Test cricketers'
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has called on the national governing body to examine the entire structure of the game throughout the country and not just his team's failings in the recent Ashes series.
England retained the Ashes with a 3-1 series victory last week with Australia losing all three games by an innings.
Ponting, who missed the final Test in Sydney to undergo surgery on a broken finger, called on Cricket Australia to widen their season's review to include state, club and junior programmes.
"The performance of the elite team over the past few weeks has been very disappointing," Ponting wrote in his column in The Australian newspaper on Monday. "But I think it's important we look a fair bit deeper into Australian cricket than just the last couple of weeks.
"I think the whole structure of Australian cricket needs looking at. We've got to look at our state cricket. I'm not sure that is as strong as we need it to be. We've got to look at the reasons why.
"We've got to look further back to club cricket and junior cricket to find out what has caused us to end up in this position.
"There are a lot of things we can look at, but right at the moment it appears as though we're not producing enough high quality Test cricketers."
Image: Ricky Ponting
'I still believe I am one of the best six batters in Australia'
Ponting said he accepted that his own position as captain, and as batsmen would be closely examined as would that of his vice-captain Michael Clarke after both failed with the bat during the series.
"I certainly expect my performances as captain and batsman to be heavily scrutinised," he said. "You've got to expect that after the disappointing series I've had.
"Michael and I both understood going into this series that if we didn't contribute heavily with the bat that there would be a lot of questions asked about us as players and leaders and that's the way it has turned out.
Ponting, 36, said he was still keen to continue playing at the highest level but added the decision was out of his hands.
"I want to keep playing. I still believe I am one of the best six batters in Australia but I know that ultimately my future as a batsman and captain is in the hands of the selectors and the Cricket Australia board."
Image: Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke