Melbourne: Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden on Tuesday lashed out at the national selectors for dropping Ricky Ponting from the one-day squad and termed their decision as "disgraceful". (Also read: My ODI is career over but will play Tests: Ponting)
Ponting on Tuesday said he did not expect to play again for Australia in the one-day format but would continue to play Test cricket.
"It was disgraceful treatment of our modern-day Bradman. I feel speechless. The logic that (Ponting) was left out so we can prepare for the next World Cup is just lost on me.
"It just looks as if he is being pushed further and further away from the team and I don't understand why. We should be celebrating the fact that he is still around and available to play," Hayden said.
Hayden said it will be very difficult to find another batsman with the caliber of Ponting.
"We are trying to rush him out the door to find another Ricky Ponting yet I cannot see who the next Ponting is. What message is this sending to other cricketers around Australia?" Hayden was quoted as saying by 'Daily Telegraph'.
"You have a batsman who averaged 100 in his last Test series against India and he gets treated like this. It's outrageous. I thought it said so much about him that he is prepared to go back and play club cricket for Mowbray even though he has not got time to scratch himself."
Hayden felt that unnecessary pressure was being put on Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar to end their careers.
"There seems to be this momentum against Ricky and Sachin Tendulkar this summer which just does not make sense. Ricky's passion for the game is extraordinary. This decision is against the fabric of what our game should be all about."
Hayden said Ponting was required in the side not for his skill as a batsman but for his leadership abilities.
"What more does one individual have to do than what he did in his last Test series? I just don't see who is going to take this group forward in terms of leadership. He is such a multi-dimensional player.
"He is not only one of the great players but he works harder than anyone. I know that from talking to (batting coach) Justin Langer, Ricky is still the last to leave training. Yet there seems to be this movement that is pushing him out of the game," he said.