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.

You Go Girl! Motocross girls to show us how it’s done

READY TO ROAR: Sarah Guthrie will be racing in the Go Girls Series in Roma this weekend.

Motocross girls prove that bikes aren't just for the boys.

The old bore baths served Dalby well

THE bore baths of Dalby were a popular   in their day. The warm water from the bore proved an attraction that was not found elsewhere locally.

DALBY'S artesian shower and plunge baths were iconic.

Opening the conversation for new Australians

HELPING: Csilla Guth, Yamini Chandren and daughter Swetha with Conversations in English founder and group leader, Zita Stark.

English language group provides vital service to new Australians.

Latest deals and offers

Huge support for inaugural Travis Mitchell Cup

Despite a spirited fight in freezing conditions, the Chinchilla Suns were unable to claim the inaugural Travis Mitchell Cup from Dalby on Friday night.

You Go Girl! Motocross girls to show us how it’s done

READY TO ROAR: Sarah Guthrie will be racing in the Go Girls Series in Roma this weekend.

Motocross girls prove that bikes aren't just for the boys.

The old bore baths served Dalby well

THE bore baths of Dalby were a popular   in their day. The warm water from the bore proved an attraction that was not found elsewhere locally.

DALBY'S artesian shower and plunge baths were iconic.

Opening the conversation for new Australians

HELPING: Csilla Guth, Yamini Chandren and daughter Swetha with Conversations in English founder and group leader, Zita Stark.

English language group provides vital service to new Australians.

Luke and Cody are through to the House Rules grand final

DALBY BOYS: Luke and Cody Cook are up against Claire and Hagan in the House Rules grand final.

DALBY twins are one step closer to having Luke's mortgage paid off.

Why Roma needs a crisis shelter to support south-west Queensland

CRISIS TALKS: Different groups in south-west Queensland have come together to argue a crisis shelter should be built in Roma.

Support services in Roma have called on the need for a shelter.

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Ernie Els dunks for eagle

Smooth swing, great shot.

Ernie Els lives up to his reputation for one of the best swings in golf.

Jay Leno in spectacular rollover

Car flips after wheelie stunt.

Jay Leno gets more than he expected when he rides along in a 2500 HP Barracuda.

John Oliver on Brexit

John Oliver tries to explain the Brexit result.

John Oliver explains the fallout from Brexit on Last Week Tonight.

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"