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



Saving green spaces

ECO WARRIORS: Nicole McLachlan, Andrew Cairncross and Oliver McLachlan plan to protect the land.

A Fingal environmental group need your help.

Top chefs help feed the needy

CREATIVE KITCHEN: Helpers providing the good food at Halcyon House's community dinner.

Top chefs raise money for needy: socials

From little things, big things grow

Diana Abraham, with help from Chris Watt, cutting the cake at the Meals on Wheels 30th birthday.

Meals on Wheels mark 30th anniversary on Tweed Coast

Latest deals and offers

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Tyalgum kicks off musical season

Flutterbies' Solar Chapel and operatic soprano Jenna Dearness-Dark prepare for the Opera and Piano concert in Tyalgum on September 3.

Intimate concert awaits.

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

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

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.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m