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You can't blame Ricky Ponting for being stuck in the times of Taylor and Waugh. A man is defined by his experiences and upbringing, and Ponting grew up in an era where brotherly Aussie love within it's cricket team was the be all and end all. However, in these times of freelance cricketers, the IPL and significantly greater personal at stake, such institutions of togetherness are paid lip mere service, at best.
With this background, it is no surprise that Ponting assumed that the words of the captain of Australia would carry the weight they once did. Welcome to the real world, mate.
As the opportunity and burden of personal responsibility and decision making power is transferred to kids of increasingly younger ages, so is their prerogative to pick and choose the people who's advice they heed. With Ponting's admission that nobody heeded his advice with respect to Aussie players' participation in IPL3, it is infinitely clear that the office of Australian cricket captain no longer carries the clout for which it was once renowned. Some might even argue that Ponting's unsuitability for this role has been the catalyst for this erosion of influence.
Ponting's strategic shortcomings are ruthlessly exposed by such admissions of leadership failure, especially in an era where he has been charged with the responsibility of developing and moulding a new generation to recover their nation's reputation as consistent world-beaters. Ineffective and impotent is a leader bereft of powers of persuasion or incapable of showing the requisite discretion to carefully select the fringe issues on which his voice must be heard by his charges.
It doesn't help that Ponting's own conflicted interests in this matter could rightly be deemed by many as highly hypocritical. The result of these heated discussions also put paid to frequent foreign players' utterances that security and safety is paramount in their thinking. Such assertions are pure facetious at best, for the it is abundantly clear that the number of greenback-filled suitcases are the sole consideration.
Ponting's leadership qualities have never been his strong suit. He has failed almost every time a situation has required him to show real leadership, tact or guile, on or off the pitch. His latest admission is yet more affirmation that Cricket Australia needs to act strongly and decisively in charting a succession plan that will deliver a captain that the next generation of Australian cricketers demand and deserve.
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