Ponting retires from Test cricket

Ponting retires from Test cricket

Ponting retires from Test cricket

Updated 30 November 2012, 9:26 AEST

Ricky Ponting will retire from Test cricket after the third Test against South Africa in Perth.

The former Australian captain has played 167 Tests and scored 13,366 Test runs.

Ricky Ponting - career in stats


TESTODI

Matches: 167
Innings: 285
Runs: 13,366
Highest score: 257
Average: 52.21
50s: 62
100s: 41

Matches: 375
Runs: 13,704
Highest score: 164
Average: 42.03
50s: 82
100s: 30

After being made Australian captain in 2004, Ponting went on to become one of the country's greatest batsmen.

But pressure had mounted on him after scoring a combined total of just 20 runs in his past three innings against South Africa.

Ponting said it was towards the end of the Adelaide Test that he discussed retirement with his wife Rianna.

"It's a decision that I thought long and hard about, but at the end of the day it was about my results and my output in this series so far," he told reporters in Perth. 

"It hasn't been what I expect from myself and it certainly hasn't been to the level that I feel is required for batsmen and players in the Australian team.

"Over the last couple of weeks my level of performance hasn't been good enough.

"In my eyes I have been consistently failing, so I knew it was time."

Ponting informed his team-mates this morning and said he found he was overcome by emotion when trying to explain his decision.

"I struggled to get much out today," he said, adding that he will continue to play for Tasmania in the domestic competition and in the Big Bash for the Hobart Hurricanes.

With Australia capable of overtaking South Africa as number one Test nation with victory in Perth, Ponting said it was the perfect time to end his career.

"I am hungrier than ever," he said.

"I want this win more than any other game we have played in.

"To beat South Africa and become number one in the world, there is no better time for me to finish my career."

Ponting, 37, will equal the record of 168 Test matches set by Steve Waugh with his final appearance.

In my eyes I have been consistently failing, so I knew it was time.

Ricky Ponting

He pointed out that Perth was an appropriate place to end his Test career as it was where it started 17 years ago against Sri Lanka.

Despite all of his success for Australia, Ponting has had his share of setbacks.

Earlier in his career, he was stood down for three matches during the 1998-99 one-day series after he was involved in a fight outside a Kings Cross hotel in Sydney.

Ponting became the first Australian captain to lose three Ashes series, and on the back of the 3-1 home series loss to England in 2010-11 pressure was on him to step down as captain.

He did just that after Australia was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup in India, resigning as Test and one-day captain.

Ponting endorsed Michael Clarke as his successor and signalled his intention to keep playing.

He played his last one-day match for Australia in February against India in Brisbane before being dropped by Australian selectors.

'Amazing player'

Today, Clarke found it difficult to hold back tears when he talked about his friend and former mentor.

"The boys are hurting at the moment," Clarke told reporters.

"He's been an amazing player over a long period of time.

"But it makes this game even more special. It's already been such a great series against South Africa."

Clarke later told Grandstand that it was going to be tough to go into a Test match without Ponting.

"What a player he's been. He's been a great ambassador for the sport," he said.

"Not just for Australia but around the world. I'd love nothing more than to win this Test match, get back to being number one and Ricky to get a big hundred. What a way for him to go out."

In team news, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus have been left out of the squad to take on the Proteas.

Australia will announce its final 11 tomorrow morning.

Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Wally Edwards said Ponting's decision to announce his retirement was typical of the way he had approached cricket.

"Ricky is always uncompromisingly straightforward and leads from the front," Edwards said.

"He has made a decision that he believes is best for him, his family and his team.

"I congratulate him for his outstanding achievements as a batsman, captain, and, after he stood down as captain, leader by example."

CA chief executive James Sutherland says Ponting's talent and leadership will be sorely missed.

"Undoubtedly one of the greatest ever Australian cricketers and certainly a brilliant batsman, a record that speaks for itself, and an absolutely brilliant fieldsman as well," he said.

"He was a tremendous leader, led Australian cricket to many, many victories, and certainly a couple of World Cups come very quickly to mind."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid tribute to Ponting in Federal Parliament.

"He will go into the next phase of his life with a lot of gratitude and a lot of thanks from the Australian community, full as it is of cricket tragics," she said.

"It means that people are going to miss watching his performances, but we do wish him well for whatever the future brings."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also congratulated Ponting on a superb career.

"I rise to join the Prime Minister in congratulating Ricky Ponting as an Australian cricket captain, as someone who has given tremendous pleasure to cricket lovers around the world," he said.