MELBOURNE, (Reuters) - Australia captain Ricky Ponting will miss the opening one-day international against Sri Lanka to fly to Tasmania for his grandmother’s funeral.
Michael Clarke will replace Ponting as skipper for Wednesday’s match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which Australia are using as part of their preparations for the Ashes test series against England. “I will be flying out tomorrow morning to attend the funeral and then flying straight back to the ground tomorrow afternoon,” Ponting told a news conference on Tuesday. “I wanted to be here yesterday and today to maximise my time around the team and get my preparation right for the coming games.”
Australia will also play the Sri Lankans in Sydney on Friday and Brisbane on Sunday. The first Ashes test is also in Brisbane and begins on Nov. 25.