Australian skipper Michael Clarke has said he will feel "weird" and "strange" when he walks out to play against Sri Lanka in Hobart without home favourite Ricky Ponting. Selectors have pushed Ponting to quit from the ODI format.
The match against Sri Lanka on Friday will be Australia's first ODI since Ponting called time on his limited overs career after the selectors dropped him due to poor form.
"It's going to be a weird feeling walking onto Hobart's Blundstone Arena without Ricky. He has been such an important fixture of Australian cricket from the time I was still at school," Clarke wrote in his newspaper coloumn. "Ricky mightn't be the biggest bloke in the world but he is a giant of the game. Statistics don't lie over a long period and no one in Australian cricket has come close to achieving what he has done."
Clarke said Ponting's sacking was a big message to the young cricketers in the side.