THE Indian Premier League is among the reasons for Australia's cricketing woes, according to retired captain Ricky Ponting.
The man from Mowbray believes the huge money on offer in the Twenty20 competition is enticing some players away from what he believes should be the priority of playing for their country.
``The demands of the tournament and the extraordinary money on offer, in my opinion, are a distraction for young players trying to make an international career,'' Ponting said.
``It is no coincidence that so many struggle with their technique and I suspect, at times, their motivation.
``When an emerging player can pick up a million-dollar contract on the back of a few quick 50s in a domestic tournament it offers him a level of comfort and certainty when what is needed is hunger and a drive to achieve.''
Despite the criticism in his autobiography, released yesterday, Ponting said he enjoyed his two spells in the competition, adding that helping guide the Mumbai Indians to last season's title opened his eyes to post-playing possibilities.
``I'd never really envisaged myself coaching at the highest level before this IPL experience,'' he said. ``It's on my radar now.''
In his book At the Close of Play, Ponting reflects on his 21-year playing career, which began in the NTCA at Invermay Park and finished in the Caribbean Premier League at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on August 17 and admits he has no regrets about deciding to spend more time with wife Rianna and daughters Emmy and Matisse.
``I knew I did not have another summer in me. The thought of being at home with the girls was far more appealing than another summer on the road,'' he said.
On his Test retirement at the WACA last December, 17 years after his debut at the same ground, Ponting added: ``I'd come to accept the reality, distasteful as it was, that I was no longer a good enough player.''
He said two of the highlights of his final playing year were seeing mentor Mick Sellers in the guard of honour provided by Mowbray at his Bellerive farewell and knowing that his family ``and not a press conference'' awaited at the end of his final flight home.
--Ricky Ponting will be launching his autobiography at a dinner hosted by The Examiner in Launceston on November 6.