London, June 9 (ANI): Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has said that his team's early exit from the World Twenty20 cricket tournament will now give him and the boys more time to prepare for the Ashes to be played this summer.
Having been outed of the tournament following consecutive defeats to the West Indies and Sri Lanka (on Saturday and Monday), The Australian quoted Ricky Ponting as quipping: "There will be all sorts of things spoken about tonight, I'm sure, as far as how we make the most of our next couple of weeks, so we'll see what comes of that."
"Now that England are through to the next round, they're obviously playing this form of the game for another week at least so, if there is one positive, maybe we can get something from our couple of weeks down in Leicester," he added.
David Warner, Nathan Bracken, James Hopes, David Hussey and Cameron White will head home shortly.
They will make way for Simon Katich, Phillip Hughes, Andrew McDonald, Marcus North, Stuart Clark and Graham Manou, who are scheduled to arrive on June 18.
A four-day warm-up for the Ashes is planned against Sussex from June 24 with another against England Lions starting on July 1, a week before the first Test.
Ponting said the Ashes group would be looking to build on recent successes in South Africa, where Australia won their last Test series 2-1.
"I won't be focusing on any of the negative stuff that's happened here in the last couple of days or the last week, it's about looking at the positives we've created in our Test team over the last few months," Ponting said.
"I'm really comfortable with where the Test team's at. I'd like to think that none of this would linger around. It's about creating an environment that everyone wants to be a part of when they get here," he said.
"The excitement and atmosphere for the start of the Ashes is going to be tremendous and if we can get caught up a little bit in that, I'm sure there won't be any negatives hanging around from the last few days," he added.
"It's disappointing to go out of the tournament and I can't explain why. The training was spot-on and there was a good attitude in the group. But in the big moments we haven't been able to play and we made too many mistakes. We knew that it would be a huge challenge against their spinners. We knew we had to play them well. We didn't do that and Sri Lanka deserved to win the game, " the Australian skipper said.
Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara described his team's performance as great.
"When you play against Australia the key is to believe you can win," he said.
"Our strength has always been spin bowling and we played two guys whom the Australians haven't seen much of. So their batsmen couldn't really target one single bowler. Now we want to beat the West Indies in the final group match. We can't afford to be complacent," he added. (ANI)