With Ricky Ponting announcing his intention to retire from all forms of cricket at the age of 38 I thought it would be apt to write a little about him.
I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of Ponting but I should imagine that this feeling originates from the fact that he is the ex Australian Test captain. With a fierce rivalry between England & Australia in the cricket world it is not surprising that as an England cricket fan I do not allow myself to ‘like’ an Australian cricketer!
Having said that I do hold respect for Ponting & his achievements.
He retired from Test cricket in November 2012 as the second highest Test run scorer of all time behind Sachin Tendilkar.
He captained Australia during a time when it had some cracking players: Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden & Langer. Ponting didn’t relax & let them take the responsibility for the teams success, no, he lead by example.
There were, however, moments when he was not up to scratch. In 1999 a young Ponting appeared in front of the media with a black eye.
Rather than make excuses & lie his way out of the controversy he was honest & admitted he had a problem with alcohol, went away & addressed it.
This honesty & clear love for the game has made Ponting an icon for many.
His success in cricket is something to aspire to.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek Michael Slater (Australian Cricketer) said:
“One thing I know about Ricky is he loves the game & there’s no doubt he would love to have been there in Australian colours right now………He certainly didn’t want to retire when he did but was forced to through lack of form & all this questioning about his technique.”
His form may have dipped but Ponting scored 192 against Derbyshire on his debut for Surrey earlier this year proving he still has form.
Slater, speaking about the Australian team, also said:
“If they said ‘we are desperate Ricky, we want you’ I’m sure he would put his hand up.”
This may have been prompted by Australia not currently being on top of their game at the moment. Some say they are lacking since some of their top players retired & Ponting’s return may be wishful thinking on his part.
Needless to say Ponting has left a gap in the team that needs to be filled in order for them to be back on their winning streak.