Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has announced his decision to retire from test cricket after the Perth test match against South Africa. Scheduled from Nov 30 to Dec 4 2012, the Perth game will be Ponting’s 168th international test appearance- a record that would equal Steve Waugh’s record as the highest number of appearances for Australia.
In his latest interview, the Tasmanian candidly admitted that his recent performances were not up to the mark, indirectly indicating that age has finally caught up with him. However he was also quick to point out that his passion and love for the game has never diminished. Aware that a place in the team was not based on love for the game but on results, the Aussie said that he was glad enough to have got the opportunity to end his career on his terms. He however intends to continue playing for the Hobert Hurricanes in the domestic circuit for atleast one more year.
The 38-year old has a current test total of 13336 runs at an average of 52.21 and 41 test centuries (second only to another legend Sachin Tendulkar) to his name. Ponting led the Kangaroos to 48 test victories- the highest under any captain. Under him, the Aussies also had an amazing ODI record- 164 victories in 224 games at an unbelievable success rate of 71 percent. It was under Ponting that Australia won the World Cups back-to-back in 2003 and 2007.
Punter’s moments of disgrace in an otherwise illustrious career are perhaps the Ashes defeats to England in 2005, 2009 and 2010-11. The 2010-11 defeat was particularly very painful as it was the first time in 24 years that the Aussies lost at home to England. That tournament was probably the beginning of the end as Ponting soon renounced his test captaincy and retired from the ODI scene.
No newcomer to witnessing retirements, Ponting oversaw an agonizing transition in the Aussie team when the greats retired one by one leaving him alone. It all began with Justin Langer and Glenn Mcgrath’s retirement in 2007 followed by Shane Warne, Jason Gillespie, Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee. Ponting is the last of the all-conquering golden generation and his retirement would definitely create a huge vacuum in the dressing room.
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Gokul is a software professional from Chennai, India. An avid sports fan, he is a keen follower of Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. He styles his articles as razor-edge analyses of all the hot and happening events in the field of sports.