Ponting backs rotation and Nine
Ricky Ponting will skipper the PM's XI.
Retired great Ricky Ponting says rotating players in and out of the Australian team is part of the modern game, but reckons Channel Nine has every right to feel short-changed for showing games with an understrength national side.
The former Australian skipper also believes the ''extreme'' workload on international players will result in a rapid reduction of one-day internationals following the 2015 World Cup.
Ponting, who was on Friday unveiled as the captain of the Prime Minister's XI for the match with the West Indies at Manuka Oval on January 29, supported the decision to rest marquee trio Michael Clarke, Matthew Wade and David Warner from the first two ODIs of the series with Sri Lanka, starting with Friday night's match at the MCG.
The PM's XI team.
In Clarke's absence, Twenty20 captain George Bailey led a greenhorn side featuring three debutants, the most in a national team since 1986.
Bailey accused Channel Nine of talking down one-day cricket to secure a favourable broadcast deal, but Ponting told The Canberra Times he sympathised with the host broadcaster given the huge investment it makes in the game.
''I can understand Channel Nine being disappointed, they pay a lot of money at the start of every year to want to see the best players play,'' Ponting said. ''But I guess the way it's sort of worked out this time, with a big chunk of our best team being out at once, you can understand they'd be making a fuss about it.
''I guess it's up to Cricket Australia to explain to them the reasons behind it all and work it out from there.''
Ponting said the addition of domestic Twenty20 tournaments around the world, such as the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash, put extra pressure on international players.
''The workloads of international players these days is pretty extreme and those guys [Clarke, Warner and Wade] all need a break,'' he said.
''Something cricket administrators, cricket teams, players and especially fans of the game have to understand is that it [resting players] happens in most other sports around the world.
''We will eventually see less one-day games. At the moment I think we play six Twenty20 internationals a year and close to 30 one-dayers.
''I think that will flip in reverse once the next World Cup in Australia is over.'' Ponting has no regrets about retiring from international cricket following the Perth Test against South Africa last year, and will line-up for the Hobart Hurricanes in their crucial Big Bash League match with the Brisbane Heat on Saturday night.
Australia's leading run-scorer in Test cricket will return to the Prime Minister's XI match an incredible 20 years after making 36 against South Africa in 1993 as a fresh-faced 18-year-old.
''It's a great honour to lead the side,'' Ponting said. ''I got asked to do it last year as well, but it didn't really fit in with the international program. The team looks very good, so we should be able to give the West Indies a bit of a shake.''
Veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will be Ponting's deputy, while the team also features ODI debutant Usman Khawaja, Test hopeful Alex Doolan and all-rounder James Faulkner.