Sport

Ponting walks away from the pitch on his own terms

IN THE end it was an emotion-charged silence as skipper Michael Clarke fought back tears that said more than any words could to describe the contribution Ricky Ponting had made to Australian cricket.

Ponting yesterday ended questions about his tenure in the national side by announcing the third Test, which starts in Perth tomorrow, would be his last.

The 37-year-old, Australia's highest test run-scorer with 13,336 at an average of 52.21, insisted the decision had been his own and was based on loss of form rather than loss of passion for the game.

"This is not a decision that's been made by the selectors - it's a decision that's been made by me," Ponting said.

"It's a decision that obviously I've thought long and hard about. At the end of the day it's more based on my results, and my output in this series hasn't been what I expect of myself and hasn't been what is required of a player in the Australian team."

Ponting will equal the record of the man he replaced as captain, Steve Waugh, with his 168th test appearance in Perth.

His tally of runs in the five-day game is second only to Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar who has 15,562 test runs to his credit at an average of 54.60.

While emotions will be high when he walks out to bat at the WACA, Ponting said he was focused on helping Australia win the match and regain the world No.1 test ranking.

"I'll continue to play for Tasmania until the end of the season, but my immediate focus now is what we're presented with tomorrow ... that's an unbelievable opportunity," he said.

"I'm hungrier than ever - I want this win more than any game I've ever played in."

Tributes flowed in for the former Australian skipper after his announcement, South African captain Graeme Smith describing Ponting as someone who "never gave an inch" as a player, and was "always making an impact on a test match".

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said it was difficult to overstate the contribution Ponting had made to the game.

"Ricky has had an extraordinary career and has made an extraordinary contribution, including through the example he has set for other elite players and through the excitement he has given fans, young and old," Sutherland said.

And Clarke, who replaced Ponting as skipper last year, reflected the feelings of the Australian players when asked whether he suspected the announcement was imminent.

"No I didn't have a feeling it was coming," Clarke said.

"The boys are obviously hurting, he has been an amazing player for a long time."

Clarke then choked back tears, no words needed to spell out how all the players felt about the man called "Punter".

 

PONTING FACT FILE

 

  • In Dec, 1995 made 96 in test debut against Sri Lanka in Perth
  • In 2003 became the second player, after Don Bradman, to score three test double-centuries in a calendar year
  • In 2004 became Australia's 42nd test captain
  • In 2007 led Australia to third straight World Cup win
  • In 2009 became just the second Aussie captain to lose two Ashes series
     

Topics:  australia, cricket, michael clarke, ricky ponting, south africa, waca


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Isaac welcomes new CEO

Isaac Regional Council welcomes the appointment of new chief executive officer Gary Stevenson.

Mayor Baker today announced he will start with Isaac from July 1.

Trolley delivers auction success

GOOD IDEAS: Ideas man Roger Little with boilermaker fabricator Paul Dickens who helped make the trolley.

Trolley delivers auction success

Meet the Flynn candidates for the 2016 Federal Election

Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is campaigning for a third term. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer

Meet your candidates for the seat of Flynn.

Latest deals and offers

Help out appeal for Salvation Army

PLAY a valuable part in the work the Salvation Army achieves in the Central Highlands by donating to the Red Shield Appeal on May 28–29.

Isaac welcomes new CEO

Isaac Regional Council welcomes the appointment of new chief executive officer Gary Stevenson.

Mayor Baker today announced he will start with Isaac from July 1.

Trolley delivers auction success

GOOD IDEAS: Ideas man Roger Little with boilermaker fabricator Paul Dickens who helped make the trolley.

Trolley delivers auction success

Meet the Flynn candidates for the 2016 Federal Election

Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is campaigning for a third term. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer

Meet your candidates for the seat of Flynn.

Spirited game a shining success

Tanae Kearney (Sportsmanship Medallion), Braith Kemp (Coaches Medal) and Sam Chick (Play of the Day).

Spirited game a shining success

Origin starters

Clermont Junior Bears fullback Roman Revell-Blair with his under-9 team who are heading to State of Origin game one.

Origin starters

Things to do in Central Queensland this week

Capella Show. Photo Matthew Holdsworth / CQ News

Your guide to events this weekend and throughout the week

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago