The career of Australia’s best batsman since Bradman ended in Perth this afternoon.

Ponting is applauded by the South African team. Photo: AFP

Ricky Ponting’s final innings was disappointingly (though not unsurprisingly) modest, as he was dismissed for just eight runs. On the bright side, Ponting did at least manage to double his score from the first innings.

More impressive than Ricky’s performance with the bat was the spirit of the Perth crowd and the attitude of his South African opposition.

As Ponting strode onto the ground to a standing ovation, the South African players formed a guard of honour, highlighting the esteem in which the former Aussie captain is held by the cricketing world.

And when Jacques Kallis snared a great reflex catch at first slip to seal Ponting’s fate, he left the pitch to a farewell unlike any other in recent sporting memory.

The crowd rose to its feet again, and Ponting raised his bat and helmet for the last time, as the words “Thanks Ricky” flashed across the WACA scoreboard.

Some will argue that Ponting remained in the Test arena for too long. Ricky’s best form passed him by long ago, and he has made no real mark on this series.

But Ponting did not overstay his welcome. His reception in Perth today was evidence enough of that.

The Australian team will sorely miss Ricky’s talents, not to mention his leadership. And so will the Australian public.

We haven’t all been huge fans of Ponting over the years, but even for the doubters, there is no denying Ricky’s contribution to his team, or to the sport itself.

He will be remembered, deservedly, as one of cricket’s all time greats.

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19 comments

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    • Dave Charlesworth says:

      03:41pm | 03/12/12

      And the band played on…..

      Ricky you were a champion old mate, but unfortunately like so many before you, you hung around 2 years too long!!

    • Alex says:

      04:17pm | 03/12/12

      Agreed. Other guys from his era, like McGrath and Warne and Langer, retired before they really deteriorated. They did it the right way. I reckon Ponting has tarnished his rep a little bit by staying for too long.

    • Draco says:

      04:46pm | 03/12/12

      No way! The guy plays for how many years, and you guys are obsessed with the last two? That ain’t fair.

    • MK says:

      05:11pm | 03/12/12

      @Draco,
      but thats the point
      Ponting is the 2nd best Australian Batsmen of all time,
      the highest run scorerand
      And i thank an d salute him for his batting excellence

      but he was all that before the last two years,
      So he wnet from Being the 2nd best batsmen australia has ever had,
      still playing at the top of the itnernatioanl level
      to the 2nd best batsmen australia has ever had,
      whose stubborness and fight outlasted his talent


      had he retired at ant point during those two years,
      it would probably have been one test too late

      and as the satying goes if you dont have anything nice to say,
      dont say antyhing at all,
      i wont mention anything about his test captaincy

    • Go Mick! says:

      03:53pm | 03/12/12

      Clarkie to score 300, show us who the real captain is!

    • Jay says:

      04:11pm | 03/12/12

      Only 300? Don’t be modest now. We’ll need about 400 from him to win.

    • Oh Mick... says:

      04:51pm | 03/12/12

      So much for that optimism…

    • Al says:

      03:56pm | 03/12/12

      Ponting was not such a great bloke. He was the biggest sledger of the lot. And a cranky little fart when the umpiring didn’t go his way. I won’t miss him.

    • Ann says:

      04:04pm | 03/12/12

      He was all of those things, and I miss him already.

    • james says:

      04:12pm | 03/12/12

      Don’t mess about Al, tell us why you really like him!
      Yes, he was of the same type of character as Ian Chappel but an infinitely better cricketer and I can assure you that the South Africans did not honour him they way they did because they thought he was a nasty little sledger.They know a thing or two about courage and determination and showed him the respect he deserved - as do we.

    • Julie says:

      04:24pm | 03/12/12

      I used to feel like that Al. But then I think Ponting mellowed a bit as he got older. After the other dickheads retired, and he lost the captaincy. He gained some respect back in my mind.

    • Bravo says:

      04:01pm | 03/12/12

      Bravo Ricky. It was a pleasure watching you all these years, and all the best for the future.

    • John says:

      04:06pm | 03/12/12

      Best batsman since Bradman. Yeah, right. Greg Chappell gives his regards.

    • CL says:

      04:14pm | 03/12/12

      Greg was good. Really good. I see where your coming from. But Ricky’s gotta get it for longevity.

    • Don says:

      06:20pm | 03/12/12

      Ricky didn’t face the West Indies at their meanest as well as the bouncer limit rule. I would love to see how the current crop would stand up to the likes of Marshall, Roberts, Garner and Holding in their prime. So for players like Chappell and Border, you have to take that into account and that brings up their standing just a tad in my opinion. Anyway, farewell Ricky and enjoy your retirement.

    • salute says:

      04:27pm | 03/12/12

      Remember the good times Ricky. For me, that’s the one day match against South Africa where both sides scored four hundred plus. That was an amazing innings.

    • Em says:

      04:32pm | 03/12/12

      Youre usually a little more piercing than this, Samuel. Little bit fatuous!

    • SamC says:

      04:38pm | 03/12/12

      Hahaha. Believe me, I could write a long article criticising Ricky Ponting’s career. But now isn’t the moment for that.

    • Winston Smith says:

      04:51pm | 03/12/12

      He should have retired two years ago.  In his last two years his ave. had dropped to the low thirties.  Compare that to Taylor whose final two years ave. was still in the fifties, Waugh whose ave. was over sixty, and AB who was still batting in the high forties.
      Most batsmen make the call at the right time (or are tapped on the shoulder) but some need to be pushed a lot earlier. Sachin, can you hear me? ( last two year ave. is in the twenties)  Sentiment should never get in the way of a winning strategy.

 

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