Ricky Thomas Ponting, AO (born 19 December 1974), nicknamed Punter, is a former Australian cricketer, and two World Cup winning captain in 2003 and 2007. Widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen and captains in the history of cricket, Ponting was captain of the Australia national cricket team during its ‘golden era’; between 2004 and 2011 in Test cricket and 2002 and 2011 in One Day International cricket. He is a specialist right-handed batsman, slips and close catching fielder, as well as a very occasional bowler. Ponting holds the record of being the only cricketer in the history of Test cricket to be a part of 100 Test match wins. He was named “Cricketer of the decade 2000”. He led Australia to victory at the 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cups and was also a member of the 1999 World Cup winning team under Steve Waugh.
He represented the Tasmanian Tigers in Australian domestic cricket, the Hobart Hurricanes in Australia’s domestic T20 competition the Big Bash League, and played in the Indian Premier League with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008. He is widely considered by many to be one of the best batsmen of the modern era, alongside Sachin Tendulkar of India and Brian Lara of the West Indies. On 1 December 2006, he reached the highest rating achieved by a Test batsman in the last 50 years.
Ponting made his first-class debut for Tasmania in November 1992, when just 17 years and 337 days old, becoming the youngest Tasmanian to play in a Sheffield Shield match. However, he had to wait until 1995 before making his One Day International (ODI) debut, during a quadrangular tournament in New Zealand in a match against South Africa. His Test debut followed shortly after, when selected for the first Test of the 1995 home series against Sri Lanka in Perth, in which he scored 96. He lost his place in the national team several times in the period before early-1999, due to lack of form and discipline, before becoming One Day International captain in early-2002 and Test captain in early 2004.
After being involved in over 160 Tests and 370 ODIs, Ponting is Australia’s leading run-scorer in Test and ODI cricket. He is one of only four players (along with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis) in history to have scored 13,000 Test runs. Statistically, he is one of the most successful captains of all time, with 48 victories in 77 Tests between 2004 and 31 December 2010. As a player, Ponting is the only cricketer in history to be involved in 100 Test victories. Ponting also holds the record to have been involved in the most ODI victories as a player, with 262 wins.
On 29 November 2012 Ponting announced his retirement from Test cricket, the day before he would play in the Perth Test against South Africa. This was his 168th and last Test appearance, equalling the Australian record held by Steve Waugh. Ponting retired on 3 December 2012 with a Test batting average of 51.85. He continued to play cricket around the world. In February 2013 it was announced that he would be captaining the Mumbai Indians team in the Indian Premier League. and in March 2013 he was announced as the first international franchise player for the Caribbean Premier League. Later that month it was revealed by Ponting that this would be his last season playing cricket, as at the end of the competition he would be retiring from all forms of the game.
2012: Test retirement
On Australia Day 2012 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to cricket and, through the Ponting Foundation, the community. Ponting was promoted to captain in the 2011-12 Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia in Michael Clarke’s absence due to injury. However, after only two games as captain he was dropped, having scored only 18 runs in 5 games of the 2011-12 Commonwealth Bank Series. At a press conference thereafter, Ponting conceded, “I don’t expect to play one-day international cricket for Australia any more and I’m pretty sure the selectors don’t expect to pick me either … I will continue playing Test cricket and I’ll continue playing for Tasmania as well”.
2013: Tasmania and Surrey
After retiring from test cricket, Ponting played out the Sheffield Shield season with eventual champions Tasmania. He was the competition’s leading run scorer with 911 runs at an average of 75.91. As a result of his prolific form with the bat, he was named the Sheffield Shield player of the year.
He signed on to play for the English County side Surrey during June-July 2013. His score of 192 on debut against Derbyshire was the highest score by a Surrey batsman on their first class debut for the county. Ponting scored an unbeaten 169 against Nottinghamshire in his final first class innings, ensuring his team held on for a draw.
At the formal opening of the Bellerive Oval redevelopment in January 2015, it was announced that the new Western Stand would be named the Ricky Ponting Stand in his honour. On December 9, 2015 Ponting also unveiled a bronze statue placed at the ground in his honour.
Approach to cricket
Ponting was known as an aggressive competitor, as manifested in his on-field conduct. According to former Australian captain Allan Border, what you see with Ponting is what you get, and “he wears his heart on his sleeve”. Border also noted that Ponting has an abundance of determination, courage and skill.
However, his competitive attitudes could be overly aggressive, pushing the boundaries of cricket etiquette. In early 2006, in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, Ponting had an on-field argument with umpire Billy Bowden over signalling a no-ball because not enough players were within the inner circle. In mid-2006, during a tour of Bangladesh, Ponting was accused of “badgering the umpires until he got what he wanted”.
The South African captain, Graeme Smith, described Ponting as the toughest competitor he had ever played against.
Ponting was known as an aggressive right-handed batsman who played a wide repertoire of shots with confidence, most notably the pull and hook. However, he had some technical weaknesses, such as shuffling across his stumps and being trapped leg before wicket, and thrusting his bat away from his bodyespecially early in his innings. Despite being widely renowned as the best player of the hook and pull shots in the world, Ponting was equally adept on both the front and back foot. However, during the latter stages of his career, the hook and pull shots have often been the cause of his dismissal.
He was considered by some observers to have trouble against quality spin, especially against Indian off spinner Harbhajan Singh, who dismissed Ponting on 13 occasions in international cricket. Ponting had a tendency to rock onto the front foot and thrust his wrists at spinning deliveries, resulting in many catches close to the wicket. Ponting rarely employed the sweep shot against spin, something considered unusual for a top-order batsman. Instead, he looked to use his feet to come down the wicket to spinners, or play off the back foot through the off-side.
|Ponting’s results in international matches|
Former West Indian captain, Viv Richards, who was rated as the third best Test cricketer in a 2002 poll by Wisden, said Ponting was his favourite current-day player to watch, slightly ahead of Sachin Tendulkar.
Bowling and fielding
A right-arm bowler, Ponting rarely bowled, although he has notably dismissed West Indian batsman Brian Lara in an ODI match and former England captain Michael Vaughan in an Ashes Test in 2005. He was, however, rated one of the best fielders in the world. He usually fielded in the slips, cover and silly point. His good eye and accurate throws often saw him run batsmen out with direct hits.
|Record as captain|
|Matches||Won||Lost||Drawn||Tied||No result||Win %|
|Date last Updated:||2 September 2015|
Ponting has often been criticised for his lack of imagination in his captaincy, though many players who played under him say he is a good leader. According to former Australian opening batsman Justin Langer, “He is quite inspirational as a leader and I just never get all the detractors he has. Whether it’s in the fielding practice, the nets, the way he holds himself off the fieldevery time he speaks, these young guys just listen, they hang on every word he says.”
Career best performances
|Test||257||Australia v India||MCG, Melbourne||2003|
|ODI||164||South Africa v Australia||Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||2006|
|T20I||98*||New Zealand v Australia||Eden Park, Auckland||2005|
|FC||257||Australia v India||MCG, Melbourne||2003|
|LA||164||South Africa v Australia||Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg||2006|
On 1 January 2017, Ponting was named an interim coach for the team’s T20I series against Sri Lanka.
- Ponting holds the world record for being part of a team in most ODI wins- he finished on the winning side in 262 ODIs.
- He is the most capped ODI captain in ODI history(230 matches)
- He holds the record for the most world cup matches played(46).
- Holds the record for playing the most number of matches as captain in ICC Cricket World Cup(29)
- He also holds the record for taking the most number of catches in ICC Cricket World Cup history(28) as well as holds the record for taking most catches in a single world cup series(11)
- Ponting’s score of 242 against India is the record for the highest individual score in a test innings in a losing cause.
- First batsman to score centuries in ODI cricket against all test playing nations.Also first from Australia
- Second in the list of playing the most international cricket matches as captain(324 matches) just behind MS Dhoni
- Ponting is also just behind Mahela Jayawardene for taking the most number of international catches(364)
- Most matches as captain in ICC Champions Trophy history(16 matches)
- Ricky Ponting along with Shane Watson has the record for the highest partnership for any wicket in ICC Champions Trophy history(252* for the second wicket).
- Holds the record for scoring the most runs in ODI history as captain(8497)
- He holds the record for the highest T20I score on T20I debut(98)
- Most career runs in ODI history when batting at number 3 position(12662)
Throughout his career in international cricket, Ponting has been involved in the writing of a number of diaries on Australian cricket, which depict his experiences during the cricketing year. The books are produced with the help of a ghostwriter. His autobiography, Ponting: At the Close of Play, was published and released in November 2013.
- Ricky Ponting; Peter Staples (1998). Ricky Ponting. Ironbark Press. ISBN 0-330-36117-1.
- Ricky Ponting; Brian Murgatroyd (2003). Ricky Ponting’s World Cup Diary. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. ISBN 0-7322-7847-3.
- Ricky Ponting; Brian Murgatroyd (2004). My First Year. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. ISBN 0-7322-7848-1.
- Ricky Ponting; Brian Murgatroyd (2005). Ashes Diary. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. ISBN 0-7322-8152-0.
- Ricky Ponting; Geoff Armstrong (2006). Captain’s Diary 2006. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. ISBN 0-7322-8153-9.
- Ricky Ponting; Geoff Armstrong (2007). Captain’s Diary 2007. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. ISBN 0-7322-8153-9.
- Ricky Ponting; Geoff Armstrong (2008). Captain’s Diary 2008. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. ISBN 978-0-7322-8491-6.
- Ricky Ponting; Geoff Armstrong (2009). Captain’s Diary 2009. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. ISBN 978-0-7322-8957-7.
- Ricky Ponting (2013). Ponting: At the Close of Play. HarperSport. ISBN 9780732291822.