Punter to tackle the Windies

RICKY Ponting's final act against international opposition will take place against the West Indies later this month after Cricket Australia today confirmed his captaincy for the Prime Minister's XI.

Ponting was announced as the skipper of this side before the 38-year-old announced his retirement from the international game.

Since his final Test against South Africa in December, Ponting has shown good touch with the bat for Hobart in the Big Bash League.

He is one of three Tasmanians named in the team, with former Launceston duo James Faulkner and Alex Doolan joining the Mowbray Master in the line-up.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will be Ponting's deputy, with Usman Khawaja and Kane Richardson among the squad.

The Manuka Oval clash will be the third Prime Minister Julia Gillard has acted as ''chief selector'' for the team.

“We are hoping that the Canberra skies will be clear for this historic occasion, that being the first match played under lights at Manuka Oval,” she said.

 “The PM’s XI has been the breeding ground for many of our cricketing stars and I am confident this match will prove to be no different.”

National Selection Panel chairman John Inverarity said the fixture was a ''special'' one on the Australian cricketing calender.

''It provides a unique opportunity for many of our most talented and promising cricketers to showcase their skills,''  Inverarity said.

 “Captain Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Brad Haddin are two players who bring with them leadership and enormous experience on the international stage, and will be excellent drawcards.

 “Usman Khawaja has been in great form this summer and James Faulkner, who made his international Twenty20 debut for Australia against India last year, will also be keen to make his mark.''

The match will be played on January 29 and will be televised by Fox Sports.

Prime Minister's XI: Ricky Ponting (c) Brad Haddin (vc), Fawad Ahmed, Jono Dean, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Kane Richardson, Gurinder Sandhu, Ashton Turner, Nick Winter (12th man)


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