Sydney, Oct 24 (UNI) Australia captain Ricky Ponting has disclosed that he was ''more confused than gutted'' after he learnt about the sudden decision of Australian middle order batsman Damien Martyn to retire.
It's been a long time coming but Ponting has finally vented his spleen, disclosing his confusion and frustration during last year's Ashes series when he learned of the shock retirement of his good mate Damien Martyn without much of a warning or an explanation from the star batsman.
In his new book, Captain's Diary 2007, which will hit bookshelves across Australia today, Ponting reveals he learned of Martyn's decision late, ''It came three days after the second Test in Adelaide'' when he was playing golf with fast bowler Stuart Clark in Sydney.
''It's not for me to say whether Marto's decision to retire was right or wrong. I was disappointed because we had lost an excellent player, someone who'd bailed us out of difficult situations many times in the past,'' said Ponting.
''I was frustrated because I was left answering questions about something I knew nothing about, when one media appearance by him would have cleared the air. Any number of theories were circulating, and I knew some people just didn't believe me when I said I didn't have any idea what was going on.'' Ponting said the Martyn decision left him ''More confused than gutted. The suggestions were that, having made his decision, Marto didn't want anyone to talk him out of it, which sort of made sense, and that with the team so close to regaining the Ashes he didn't want to be a distraction, didn't want any of the attention to be on him.'' ''One newspaper report suggested he'd quit because he'd been told that he was about to get dropped. But I knew the selectors were about to announce the team and that Marto was going to be in it.
Another story claimed that, during the celebrations in the Adelaide Oval dressing room, Marto had quietly told an unnamed Cricket Australia employee that the best time to retire is when 'you're on top'. That could be true, but he never said it to me.'' UNI