Legendary Australian Test cricketer Ricky Ponting will play his 168th and final Test against South Africa in Perth.
Ponting’s illustrious international career will come to an end at the WACA.
A press conference has just been finished in Perth, where Ponting made the announcement with the full Australian team in attendance.
Ponting stated that he made the decision, not selectors:
“I haven’t been performing consistently over the last 12-18 months. I believe now is the right time to be making this decision.”
Cricket Australia Chairman Wally Edwards said Ponting’s retirement decision and announcement was typical of the man:
“Ricky is always uncompromisingly straightforward and leads from the front – he has made a decision that he believes is best for him, his family and his team,” said Edwards.
“On behalf of Australian cricket, I congratulate him for his outstanding achievements as a batsman, captain and, after he stood down as captain, leader by example”.
CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said he and Ricky had exchanges messages earlier today after Ponting had made his decision overnight.
“Ricky has had an extra-ordinary career and has made an extra-ordinary contribution, including through the example he has set for other elite players and through the excitement he has given fans, young and old,” said Sutherland.
“There is much to admire, including his pride in his roots at his local cricket club that he spoke so eloquently of at last month’s Bradman Oration, through to the fact that he takes to the field tomorrow for his 168th Test as one of the best prepared players in the modern game”.
“I think his record until he retired as captain was outstanding but my respect for him since then has actually increased, seeing first-hand how he stepped back to become a total team player, absolutely committed to his captain, unstinting in his work to help other players and single-minded in his view that everything, including his own ambition, must always be second place after whatever was best for the team”.