Although Ponting claimed in his book 'At The Close Of Play' that he and Clarke were close friends in 2005 and that he believed Clarke would succeed him as Australian captain, however, that relationship changed when Clarke struck up a relationship with Bingle.
According to News.com.au, Ponting said that the team noticed that Clarke hardly honoured the tradition of sticking around for a chat and a drink with teammates after a match as his relationship with Bingle progressed, although the former skipper never mentioned Bingle by name in the book.
Stating that he believes that Clarke lost his way during his relationship with the model, Ponting also said that although Clarke publicly said all the right things, he never got too involved in planning sessions or debriefs at the end of a day's play, or to volunteered to take on any of the captain's workload.
Ponting also said that he believes that the infamous dispute between Clarke and then-opener Simon Katich in 2009, in which Katich is believed to have grabbed Clarke by the throat, may have happened because Clarke wanted to leave the dressing room early to be with Bingle.
Clarke and Bingle became sport's glamour couple from 2007 until their split in 2010, with Clarke buying her a 200,000-dollar engagement ring, a 300,000-dollar Aston Martin, tattooing her initials on his shoulder and the pair selling news of their engagement to the media, the report added.
--ANI (Posted on 14-10-2013)