Ponting 'saddened' by Warne's departure

Ponting intends to use Warne's departure as some sort of motivation to ensure that one of all-time greats was given the the right farewell.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 15:54 IST

Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting admitted on Fridaythat he was "shocked" and "saddened" after Test cricket's greatest bowler Shane Warne decided to quit.

In his first comments since Warne stunned the cricket world with his announcement he was retiring from International and Australian cricket, Ponting however revealed that he did not try to change his teammate's mind.

Ponting said he was saddened to lose such a good teammate but respected the spin king's decision, and vowed that it would not change the team's determination to complete a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash against England.

"I think I was a bit shocked a bit saddened like everybody else was -- not that he made the decision because he'd obviously thought long and hard about wanting to retire," Ponting said.

"But because of the fact I played with him for so long and he's a really good friend of mine and I've learned a lot from him about the game.

"Whenever you lose someone you've been close to for a long period of time it's sad.

"But he's obviously made that decision on other things he wanted to do in his life so I didn't at any stage ever try to talk him out of it," Ponting said.

Ponting said he had impressed on the team the need to win the remaining two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney as a testament to Warne.

"We want to win the next two games. It would be a fitting end for Shane if we did that and that's the way we've got to approach these next two," he said.

Ponting also stressed that Australia could not afford to rest on their laurels after reclaiming the Ashes from England.

"I think we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the fans around Australia to make sure that we aren't any more relaxed," he said.

"Losing last time stung everybody and we've go to make sure now that... With Warney doing what he's done, we can actually use that as some sort of motivation to make sure we send off one of the all-time greats of the game on the right note."

First Published: Dec 22, 2006 14:51 IST