Playing Ashes tour of 2013 is achievable, says Ponting

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Melbourne, Aug 26 (ANI): Ricky Ponting, who become the first Australian captain to surrender the Ashes twice to England in England, has said that he is determined to play the Ashes tour of 2013, even if he is no longer captaining the side.

Australian fans back home want Ponting to be replaced as skipper by his deputy Michael Clarke, after the team lost three of their past five series and slipped this week from first to fourth on the Test rankings.

Ponting's captaincy role appears safe for now, but fears of Australia's all-time leading run scorer quitting the game when he eventually loses the leadership role may be unfounded, The Age reports.

"Having a pretty bitter and sour taste in my mouth at the end of that Test match, I'd love to be able to go back and give it one more crack," Ponting said.

"I've got to worry about that the next 12 or 18 months and see if all that hunger or commitment is still there. Right at the moment it most definitely is. It's probably higher right now than ever before. Who knows, 2013 might be something achievable," he said.

Asked if handing Clarke the captaincy for the Twenty20 and one-day teams to preserve himself for Test cricket would be an option in the future, Ponting said he was open to the idea.

"If that's the way that I or others outside of what I'm thinking decide (is) the right way to go, there's absolutely no reason why that couldn't happen," said Ponting.

"It has happened in the past with Australian teams. It is happening with other teams around the world right at the moment. Paul Collingwood is captain of the England Twenty20 team and Andrew Strauss is captain of the one-day and Test cricket teams.

Ponting said he hoped talk of him playing in 2013, as a player only was hypothetical.

"I still think I've got a lot to offer the team, as a batsman and as a captain and as a leader. If it ends up getting to the point where I'm not the captain, my hunger and determination to keep playing this game are as good as ever," he said. (ANI)

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