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Ashes Ricky Ponting: Criticism of departing Australia captain Michael Clarke wrong

Not everyone has been keen to pay tribute to departing Australia captain Michael Clarke, leaving former skipper Ricky Ponting disappointed.

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play (Omni Sports)

Ricky Ponting has been left disappointed by the criticism aimed at retiring Australia captain Michael Clarke.

Clarke announced his decision to step down from international cricket following a dismal innings-and-78-run defeat to England in the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, which saw the hosts regain the urn.

In the aftermath, former Australia coach John Buchanan accused Clarke of not buying into the team's culture, while former team-mates Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds have been critical of the 34-year-old.

Former skipper Ponting once criticised Clarke's attitude in his autobiography 'At The Close of Play', but paid tribute to his performances for Australia and hopes his ex-team-mate can go out on a high in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval this week.

"It's been a little disappointing to see some of the public criticisms levelled at Michael Clarke at a time when his enormous contribution to Australian cricket should be acknowledged," Ponting wrote in an article for Cricinfo.

"Cricket takes all sorts of characters and Michael and I had our share of disagreements, but when it came down to it he loved the game and performed with distinction for Australia as batsman and captain, taking the leadership job at a challenging time.

"He has given his heart and soul to being the best cricketer he could have been. His statistics and longevity are right up there with the very best cricketers of all time and he should look back on his career with enormous satisfaction and pride.

"I really hope he gets to enjoy his farewell Test and perform at a level that we have all become used to seeing over his career.

"Certainly there will be a mood in the dressing room to send him out as appropriately as possible, and at the same time leave England with something to think about other than the fact they will be keeping the Ashes urn this time around."

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