No one had ever seen Ricky Ponting as emotional as he was today when he announced he would retire after Perth Test. He couldn’t stay composed when he told his team mates about his decision to retire from international cricket.
It was not only Ponting who was emotional. All the team mates wept when they heard about this decision. Michael Clarke’s red eyes in front of the media were telling the whole story as to how much the decision had made the team emotional. He was unable to speak much with the media and even shed some tears during the press conference.
It was not the end of a career but end of an era. Ponting started his journey as a test player in 1995 at the same venue, WACA’s Perth cricket ground. His cover drives and pull shots were the most lethal weapons the opponents were afraid of. In his 167 test matches, Ponting scored 13366 runs with an average of 52.21. He has scored 41 hundreds. He had already announced his retirement from short version of cricket last year. In that, he had scored 13704 runs with an average of 42.03 including 30 centuries. He was second highest runs scorer in both the formats of cricket and way no doubt, the second best. He received many awards including ICC Player of the Year – 2006,2007; ICC Test Player of the Year – 2003, 2004, 2006; One-Day International Player of the Year – 2002; Allan Border Medal – 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009; Wisden Cricketer of the Year – 2006; Cricinfo Player of the Decade – 2000-09.
Although he was the highest runs scorer in Australian domestic season, he was unable to perform well in the three innings he had played. According to him, he was no longer good enough to perform at the highest level and so the time was right to give way to younger players. Ponting clarified that the retirement decision was purely his own and the selectors still wanted him in the team. He insisted that the captain and selectors were always very vocal in supporting him. Ponting was keen that the announcement would inspire Australia’s fight for world No. 1 ranking.
After the test match, Ponting will play domestic season for Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmania in the Big Bash League. We all will miss you ‘Punter’.