Ponting eyes World Cup

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has one eye looking towards the VB Series opener against Sri Lanka at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, whilst the other is focusing on the 2007 World Cup.

Speaking after the Australians completed a sharp training session at the Telstra Dome, Ponting stated that the one-day series against Sri Lanka and South Africa is just another hit-out on the road to the Caribbean next year.

“I think Trevor Hohns during the week came out and said that everything as far as selections go from now on in the one day side will be geared around the World Cup,” Ponting said.

“We’ve been looking at the World Cup for quite a while now as far as our overall team plan is concerned, how we approach different tournaments, and what we try and get out of different tournaments, so this is just another tournament along the way, along that path towards World Cup 2007.”

With speculation mounting that Shane Warne will make himself available for the World Cup, Ponting expressed his opinion on the chance that he may have the champion leg-spinner at his one-day disposal once again.

“I know Shane’s had some discussion with the selectors about it and he’s spoken about it with me a few times eight or ten months ago…we were talking about it then, and I think he’s aired his thoughts in the papers over the last few days and we’ll just see what happens I guess,” Ponting said.

“Shane would agree, he can’t just put his hand up and say I want to play in a World Cup and just rock up for the first game and play there,” he added.

“If he is eventually going to declare himself available I think we’d all like to see it sooner rather than later.”

Ponting also stated that the VB series, together with the upcoming tour of South Africa, represents a fantastic opportunity to give many of the talented yet inexperienced Australian players a taste of international cricket at the highest level.

“There’s hopefully an opportunity there to get a look at a wide array of players and the more that we can have with international experience in that time, when it comes to picking the World Cup squad the better,” he said.

“The selectors have got some thinking to do obviously with what they want to achieve out of this summer and when we go to South Africa as well.”

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