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


Stay Connected

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

What's on in the Western Downs

BIG LAUGHS: Comedian Denise Scott will appear at Cabarita Beach Sports Club on Saturday, June 4. Win a double pass to the show, valued at $70, by filling in an entry form in today's paper.

This week's guide to what's happening in the Western Downs.

Knitting Nannas coming to town

COMING TO TOWN: The Knitting Nannas Against Gas are holding their national conference in Chinchilla this weekend.

Knitting Nanas Against Gas having national conference in Chinchilla.

Roma saleyards show off for Governor-General visit

STRONG MARKET: David McInnerney, Combarngo, Surat, took advantage of good prices to sell.

The Governor-General made a special trip to the Roma saleyards.

Latest deals and offers

Apex's teddy bear picnic in support of a good cause

Gather your favourite teddy or two and make your way down to Apex Park for a picnic in support of a worthy cause.

What's on in the Western Downs

BIG LAUGHS: Comedian Denise Scott will appear at Cabarita Beach Sports Club on Saturday, June 4. Win a double pass to the show, valued at $70, by filling in an entry form in today's paper.

This week's guide to what's happening in the Western Downs.

Knitting Nannas coming to town

COMING TO TOWN: The Knitting Nannas Against Gas are holding their national conference in Chinchilla this weekend.

Knitting Nanas Against Gas having national conference in Chinchilla.

Roma saleyards show off for Governor-General visit

STRONG MARKET: David McInnerney, Combarngo, Surat, took advantage of good prices to sell.

The Governor-General made a special trip to the Roma saleyards.

Vegetation laws land Labor up creek without paddle

ALP Warrego candidate Mark O'Brien with Annastacia Palaszczuk during a visit out west in 2015.

Labor's controversial land clearing laws cruel chances of election

Book delves into family's past

TAPPING INTO THE PAST: Bill McCutcheon speaks at the book launch for Tapestry of Time on Saturday afternoon.

Tapestry of Time book launch.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

Sir Cliff Richard feels 'best' after sex abuse allegations

Sir Cliff Richard is 'back' to his best after sex abuse claims

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.