Ponting may miss Twenty20 World Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/ponting2_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Ricky Ponting stayed behind due to &quot;private family reasons&quot; when the rest of his team left for the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa on Monday.

Updated: September 06, 2007 11:06 IST
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Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting stayed behind due to "private family reasons" when the rest of his team left for the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa on Monday.

Ponting was one of three players absent from the Australia squad's flight from Sydney - allrounder Shane Watson has a hamstring injury and paceman Stuart Clark's son is ill.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said "a private family issue" had arisen with Ponting during the weekend, and a decision on whether the captain joined the rest of the squad at the tournament was expected later in the week.

But vice captain Adam Gilchrist, who will lead the touring party in Ponting's absence, said he was confident Ponting, as well as Watson and Clark, would arrive in time for the team's opening game against Zimbabwe on September 12.

"I've spoken to Punter, he's said that he's most likely at the moment going to join us in a few days time, but we'll just wait and see how things pan out in the next couple of days," Gilchrist said.

"We're heading over a little light in numbers, but I think everything will be fine. In a few days time when things settle, we'll most likely get the three players that aren't traveling with us today back."

Watson complained of soreness in his left hamstring after training on Sunday. Sutherland said Clark's son was ill and the fast bowler would remain in Australia until his condition improved.

Australia plays two warmup games against New Zealand on Saturday and South Africa on Sunday, before their opening group match with Zimbabwe in Cape Town.

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