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    Ponting says 'no' to county cricket

    Sydney: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Friday rejected the chance to play county cricket this year as he bids to play one last Ashes series in England in 2013.

    The 37-year-old had been linked with English side Somerset but said he had not considered representing Somerset because a long and demanding season in Australia had left him fatigued.

    "I haven't entertained the idea at all of playing county cricket this year," Ponting told reporters.

    "I've got to look at what my best preparation is, post the West Indies, and that will probably be to have a couple of months off.

    "It's been a hard 12 months for me personally and around my cricket.

    "With things not going as smoothly as I wanted at the start of the year, I had to train harder and work harder on my game and think more about my game than ever before.

    "It's taken its toll a little bit, so I need to have a chance to refresh and recharge my batteries and get a solid pre-season under my belt before the Australian summer."

    Moreover, his manager James Henderson earlier had denied the reports of Ponting playing in the county via his Twitter account.

    "Ricky is not turning his back on playing county cricket in the future but the 2012 season does not line up with his current priorities," Henderson said.

    "He will not be playing cricket from after the West Indies tour through until the start of the Sheffield Shield season. He will use the down time to spend more time with his family and refresh after a hectic past nine months."

    Ponting, who had a brief stint with Somerset in 2004, resigned as Australia's Test captain in March last year.

    He does not expect to play international limited-overs cricket again after being dropped near the end of the recent tri-series in Australia against India and Sri Lanka.

    Ponting's Test career was at the crossroads - and his Ashes dream appeared over - before he scored 544 runs at an average of 108.80 in the 4-0 whitewash of India this year.

    Australia captain Michael Clarke has backed Ponting to still be in the side when Australia and England meet next year.