Ashes 2013: Ricky Ponting says Australia return 'unlikely'

David Warner, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke
Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting says only an extraordinary set of circumstances would see him come out of international retirement to play in the Ashes.

The former Australia captain, 38, said in a newspaper interview that he would be ready to play in an emergency.

Ponting, who is playing county cricket for Surrey, has since clarified the situation would need to be extreme.

He told BBC Sport: "That didn't really come across the way I wanted it. I sort of laughed off how unlikely it was."

Ponting, who retired from international cricket in November 2012, was quoted in an interview with the Daily Mail that he would "never say never" if asked to help out the national team against England.

He has subsequently explained he would never turn his back on his country, but does not expect to pull on the baggy green cap of Australia against England this summer.

"I sort of highlighted the fact that, yes, I'm over here playing but there are three or four reserve batsmen in the Australian squad," said Ponting.

"I'm a happily retired former international player that's over here fulfilling some commitments to Surrey, and I'm happy to sit back and enjoy the Test matches for what they are."

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Ponting willing to 'help' Australia

His form in first-class cricket for Tasmania since he quit the international scene has been impressive, with 911 runs at an average of 75.91.

In contrast, Australia's batsmen struggled in India in February and March on their first Test tour since the retirements of Ponting and Michael Hussey.

Ponting admits he is happy to assist his old team-mates with any help and advice they might require ahead of the five-match series, which begins with the first Test at Trent Bridge on 10 July.

"The guys have my number," Ponting added. "If I'm asked and the current hierarchy feels that there's a need for me in any shape or form then I'd love to help out."