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30 March 2011

Aussie Cricket: Ricky Punter Ponting Self Punted; Michael Clarke In, by Greg Tingle - 30th March 2011

G'day punters, sports nuts, one and all. Australian cricket has got a major overhaul in the past 24 hours. The Aussie cricket captain - the man they call 'Punter' self punted himself yesterday, and the man they call 'Pup' Michael Clarke is the new captain. This all happened Tuesday and today (Wednesday) EST. Media Man and Gambling911 whack Australian cricket for 6 and bowl a couple of fast ones at the revamped team, big on dreams, but it about to be sent to an unholy battle where they will truly be tested...

Tuesday Ricky Ponting stepped down from the captainship of the Australian Cricket team and today - Wednesday Michael Clark is in, with Shane Watson getting vice captainship.

That's the pace off the field, but what changes happen on the field remain to be seen.

At a jam packed press conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground, this morning, Clarke, the man many love to hate, was confirmed the new Australian cricket captain for both Tests and One Day International levels.

Cricket is a prized national treasure in Australia - has been for over a century, but the last year has been one of the worse on record for our boys down under. The pressure is on Clark.

Clarke was the obvious successor to former captain Ponting, after five years in the making as vice-captain, but Clarke is not a very popular choice with the public at this point. He knows he will have to further earn their respect and trust.

Ponting insisted his decision to quit as skipper was on his own terms. A Daily Telegraph poll placed Clarke as 3rd preferred skipper. Opener Shane Watson led the way as most popular captain with more than 2000 votes and Michael Hussey ahead of Clarke too. Go figure. Haters! It's no secret that Clarke was Aussie tabloid fodder for many months last year after a well publicised split with his then model girlfriend, one who just happened to be the face of Australian tourism for about a year with the infamous "So where the bloody hell are you"?

Clarke is looking to snatch some big runs and perform brilliantly to get the public and mugs off his back.

29-year-old Clarke's first test will come when Australia takes on Bangladesh in a three Test series, beginning on April 9.

Clarke vowed to take his teammates 'back to basics'.

Flanked by Cricket Australia officials - in the same room that Ricky Ponting announced his decision to quit yesterday - Clarke was unveiled as the new skipper, with Shane Watson his deputy.

Clarke said his goal was to take Australia back to the pinnacle of the sport and believes the key to achieving that feat is simple.

"It’s about batting, bowling and fielding," he said.

"I think it’s a great start to improve those basics. I am not going to reinvent the wheel."

"My goal is to get the absolute best out of every single player in this cricket team."

More than half of 19,000 respondents to a ninemsn poll were against his succession, with other polls suggesting the public wanted Watson and Michael Hussey instead. News Limited polls also showed the pubic cold on Clarke at this point.

"People are entitled their own opinions," Clarke said.

"It’s important I do everything in the best interests of the team and try to become the best captain I can be for Australia."

"It’s about respect, earning that respect."

Ponting has endorsed Clarke and will play under him for the first time in Australia's looming tour of Bangladesh.

Clarke denied the former skipper's presence would pose problems, insisting he still wanted to learn from his predecessor.

"I don’t think Ricky will be the elephant in any room."

"I think Bangladesh will be a great test for that to see how it all unfolds."

"I'm confident that if he can continue to play for as long as he has done I'm sure it will work."

Australia's Bangaldesh Squad:

Michael Clarke (c), Shane Watson (vc), Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith, Cameron White.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

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If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

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