Ponting to take a break

SYDNEY: Australia will give Test skipper Ricky Ponting a break after the crunch Ashes series with England as they experiment with their one-day and Twenty20 line-ups, selectors said on Tuesday.

Ponting will miss both Australia’s T20 matches against England, a one-off one-dayer against Scotland and the beginning of the one-day series against England as he returns home.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the Ponting was “having his workload managed” as the team’s full schedule meant he would not get another break until next year. “This gives Michael Clarke another opportunity to captain the Australian T20 and ODI side,” Hilditch said.

Mike Hussey was omitted from the T20 side, along with bowlers Peter Siddle and Nathan Bracken.

Hilditch said selectors wanted to assess the talents of bowlers Dirk Nannes and Adan Voges in the ultra-short form of the game ahead of next year’s ICC World T20. “We are keen to look at different players as specialist T20 players in these two matches,” he said. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was called into the one-day squad, providing cover for Brad Haddin.

Flintoff fit

LEEDS: England have been given a huge boost ahead of next week’s Ashes decider with the announcement that all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is set for a farewell to Test cricket at the Oval. An England and Wales Cricket Board statement said swelling on his right knee injury had “significantly eased”. Flintoff was ruled out of the fourth Test at Headingley because of his longstanding knee injury. — AFP