Melbourne:Ricky Ponting has been telling team-mates that he would quit after the 2011 World Cup. And the oldest player in the Australian team, Matthew Hayden, has an eye on joining him.
Hayden, at 36 the elder statesman of the side -- he's two weeks older than Adam Gilchrist -- told Melbourne daily Sun-Herald that he had no plans to quit despite widespread speculation the series opener against India this week would be his last Boxing Day Test.
Hayden and Gilchrist are likely to be the next two Australian retirees but Hayden vowed to push his career as close as he can to the age of 40.
"I'll tell you what I think about the future -- I'm not retiring," Hayden said. "I look at the training and my fitness as being the benchmarks. We did our tests running between the wickets and I was second to Pup (Michael Clarke).
"And for the beep tests I'm still in the top four. It's not like I'm waning physically.
"I started later [in the Australian side] than a lot of guys so I haven't got the wear and tear. I'm enjoying it. Like, this Test coming up, it's going to be a cracker. I'm not retiring any time soon," he said.
Ponting's first rumblings about retirement leave him with three and half more years in the game. Barring injuries, the Australian skipper will retire with every batting record in Tests and one-dayers.
If he keeps scoring 1200 Test runs a year, he'll pass Brian Lara with 18 months up his sleeve.
Ponting, who turned 33 last week, is seventh on the Test list with 9,508 runs. Lara finished with 11,953.