Ricky “The Punter” Ponting, former Australian cricket captain, retired from international cricket at the end of the third test match against South Africa. The former Aussie skipper at 37 years is the second highest run scorer in Test history. The match in Perth was his 168th Test for the baggy greens. At the press conference Ricky confirmed that the decision was not influenced by the selectors as he was not performing at the highest level for the last 18 months or so. He just amassed a meager 20 runs in the first two test matches against the Proteas and this prompted the decision to retire.
Ponting is a legend
Ricky Ponting became the one-day captain in 2002 and took over the reins of test captaincy in 2004. Australia went on to win a record 48 test matches under his captaincy making him the most successful test skipper in his country. In 2005 he lost the prestigious Ashes series but revenged that loss a couple of years later with a 5-0 drubbing. Ponting was also instrumental in guiding Australia to back-to-back triumphs in World Cup in 2003 and 2007. Ricky plans to continue playing in the domestic competitions for Tasmania and will also play against the visiting Sri Lankan team this summer in a tour match.
Present Australia captain Michael Clarke was all praise for the former skipper and admitted that he regards him as one of the most amazing cricket players of all time. Former England skipper, Alec Stewart said that Ponting was second best only to Sir Donald Bradman. Even Prime Minister Julia Gillard thanked the former skipper for his contribution to the game and commented that the great player is only transiting to the next phase of his full. No wonder, Ricky Ponting, the player and captain, will be missed in the Australian dressing room.