||Ricky Ponting will not be bring his booming cricket bat to county cricket in the coming season, his manager revealed, despite previous media speculation.
"Ricky is not turning his back on playing county cricket in the future but the 2012 season does not line up with his current priorities," James Henderson added on Twitter.
"He will not be playing cricket from after the West Indies tour through until the start of the Sheffield Shield season.
"He will use the downtime to spend more time with his family and refresh after a hectic past nine months."
ESPNCricInfo had earlier reported that Somerset were lining up a bid for former Australia captain Ricky Ponting
to be their overseas player for the second half of the 2012 season.
"I definitely want to go back to Somerset for another crack at county cricket," Ponting has said in 2010. "I had a great time there in 2004 and I've always wanted to go back for a longer stint. Who knows what will happen in the future but coaching, playing, and just being around the Somerset group are possibilities."
When Ponting was dropped from Australia's one-day team he thought another spell in county cricket would be unlikely. "To be totally honest I think most of the county sides would already have their international players signed in and locked in for next season anyway ... probably at the moment that's an outside chance for me to go and play county cricket," he said.
"There's no doubt that I need to be as well prepared as possible for I think it's the start of November in Australia when the Test series starts [against South Africa]."
As it stands, Somerset have a gap in their overseas quota - South Africa's Vernon Philander is only available for the first part of the season, while Chris Gayle and Albie Morkel have been signed up for their Twenty20 campaign.
However Somerset's director of cricket Brian Rose had dismissed the speculation.
"If Ricky Ponting is a possibility then we are flattered that we have been connected with his name," Rose told BBC Somerset.
"But there has been no contact between me or Ricky's representatives."