Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day December 3, 2012

'All of us will miss Ricky' - Smith

  shares 31

Graeme Smith has declared Ricky Ponting the opponent he has most respected during his career, and said South Africa's forming a guard of honour for Ponting was never in doubt. The two men were opposing captains in 27 international matches, including some classic Tests, and met each other 41 times in total, and they shared a poignant moment as Ponting, while walking to the crease one last time, shook Smith's hand while the guard of honour was in place.

"It was just something that needed to be done," Smith said. "For me, having played against Ricky so much over the years he's certainly the player that I respect most that I've played against, for his intensity and the way he has played the game, the runs he has scored against us. He has always been so competitive. It was just a sign of respect from us for someone who has given the game of cricket so much.

"All of us will miss Ricky as an opponent. Hopefully now him and I can catch up for a beer. I'm sure a few of us would love to do that. Him and I have got to know each other fairly well over the last few years, whether it's sitting on planes or catching up after series. It will be nice to have that relaxed nature now and have some time together."

Although the South Africans came out on top in Ponting's farewell match, it wasn't always the case. Ponting scored eight Test centuries against South Africa and made 2132 runs against them, the most of any player in the modern era and behind only Denis Compton and Wally Hammond on the all-time list. Smith said there were a number of standout moments, and he noted that captaining against an in-form Ponting was nearly impossible.

"I think there's a few innings in the early days [that I will remember]," Smith said. "We ended up winning the Test match, but the 100 and 99 in Melbourne on Boxing Day [in 2008], there was another time at the Wanderers when he got runs and the wicket went around all over the shop.

"There were moments when you thought it was really tough to bat and he just took the game to you and played in a way you haven't really seen other people play. The tempo with which he played the game as a batter, as a captain it was really interesting to try and manage. I wasn't part of it but I think that World Cup knock at the Wanderers has got to rank as one of the top ones that I have watched."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • indiabadri on December 4, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    What a player. Always plays for team and tremendous fielder. Miss u Ricky..........i rate him top of Lara, sachin and all others........

  • on December 4, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Great Man ricky i wil miss u all my life ,and i consider myself lucky to be born in your era and to watch ur batting for last 10-12 yrs.

  • highveldhillbilly on December 4, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    As a Saffa, I truly feared Pointing more than any other batsman I can remember. The were times between 2003 and 2006 when we was absolutely golden and he managed to kick us really, really hard when we were threatening to fight back.

  • moBlue on December 4, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    i am not a ponting hater. i think ponting was the king of ODI cricket, no question! but in test cricket, i have my doubts about whether he was the best! second only to bradman? really? maybe in terms of numbers among oz players, he may be...

    i am from IND but i don't think sachin is the best contemporary batter, though i adore sachin! statistically (in terms of his average), and considering he is an all-rounder, i would rank kallis above sachin and lara, and then ponting [and probably sanga and chandrapaul when they finish]...

    the reason is that kallis, sachin and lara had no weakness at all! ponting did. he was weak against spin. check his record in IND. in 22 innings, he scored one century and averaged 25 or so...

  • on December 4, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    One of my favourite player. Ricky has been outstanding through out his internatioal exposure. I remembered his innings of 197 against Pakistan at Perth in 1999 when he was failing in all the previous two test matches against Pakistan. He and Justin Langer took the game away from Pakistan.We will not see another Ricky Ponting ( PUNTER ) in cricket. My best wishes to him.

  • on December 4, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    One of my favourite player. Ricky has been outstanding through out his internatioal exposure. I remembered his innings of 197 against Pakistan at Perth in 1999 when he was failing in all the previous two test matches against Pakistan. He and Justin Langer took the game away from Pakistan.We will not see another Ricky Ponting ( PUNTER ) in cricket. My best wishes to him.

  • on December 4, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    i salute u sir ricky thomas ponting....u r greatest of all time..

  • Mitcher on December 4, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    On ya Ricky! Unapologetically tough cricketer. I doubt anyone, including himself, would disagree he pushed the boundaries more than once - but do we really want cardboard cutout cricketers? Equally, my respect for Graeme Smith grows every day. A great leader (if limited tactically), a quality cricketer and a thoughtful and intelligent individual of the pitch.

  • vj_gooner on December 4, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Well and truly the best since Bradman! .. The way in which Ponting carried himself was awesome! The arrogance & the ruthlessness always stood out!

  • on December 4, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    I hope an opposing captain does to Smith what he has done to Ponting. It is these gestures and finer moments that fans and cricket loving people all over the world want to remember.

  • indiabadri on December 4, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    What a player. Always plays for team and tremendous fielder. Miss u Ricky..........i rate him top of Lara, sachin and all others........

  • on December 4, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Great Man ricky i wil miss u all my life ,and i consider myself lucky to be born in your era and to watch ur batting for last 10-12 yrs.

  • highveldhillbilly on December 4, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    As a Saffa, I truly feared Pointing more than any other batsman I can remember. The were times between 2003 and 2006 when we was absolutely golden and he managed to kick us really, really hard when we were threatening to fight back.

  • moBlue on December 4, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    i am not a ponting hater. i think ponting was the king of ODI cricket, no question! but in test cricket, i have my doubts about whether he was the best! second only to bradman? really? maybe in terms of numbers among oz players, he may be...

    i am from IND but i don't think sachin is the best contemporary batter, though i adore sachin! statistically (in terms of his average), and considering he is an all-rounder, i would rank kallis above sachin and lara, and then ponting [and probably sanga and chandrapaul when they finish]...

    the reason is that kallis, sachin and lara had no weakness at all! ponting did. he was weak against spin. check his record in IND. in 22 innings, he scored one century and averaged 25 or so...

  • on December 4, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    One of my favourite player. Ricky has been outstanding through out his internatioal exposure. I remembered his innings of 197 against Pakistan at Perth in 1999 when he was failing in all the previous two test matches against Pakistan. He and Justin Langer took the game away from Pakistan.We will not see another Ricky Ponting ( PUNTER ) in cricket. My best wishes to him.

  • on December 4, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    One of my favourite player. Ricky has been outstanding through out his internatioal exposure. I remembered his innings of 197 against Pakistan at Perth in 1999 when he was failing in all the previous two test matches against Pakistan. He and Justin Langer took the game away from Pakistan.We will not see another Ricky Ponting ( PUNTER ) in cricket. My best wishes to him.

  • on December 4, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    i salute u sir ricky thomas ponting....u r greatest of all time..

  • Mitcher on December 4, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    On ya Ricky! Unapologetically tough cricketer. I doubt anyone, including himself, would disagree he pushed the boundaries more than once - but do we really want cardboard cutout cricketers? Equally, my respect for Graeme Smith grows every day. A great leader (if limited tactically), a quality cricketer and a thoughtful and intelligent individual of the pitch.

  • vj_gooner on December 4, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Well and truly the best since Bradman! .. The way in which Ponting carried himself was awesome! The arrogance & the ruthlessness always stood out!

  • on December 4, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    I hope an opposing captain does to Smith what he has done to Ponting. It is these gestures and finer moments that fans and cricket loving people all over the world want to remember.

  • on December 4, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    i am a great fan of smith coz he knows cricket is not all about hitting ball n getting runs..cricket has some traditional sportsman spirit which are seen rare in many of great players..by day way...thanks ricky for what have u done to enrich game of cricket...hats off to you guy

  • on December 4, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is one among the modern greats including Sachin, Dravid, Kallis, Jayavardane, sangakara, Smith etc. To watch him btting gave great pleasure. A shrewd captain. We all will miss him

  • Alexk400 on December 4, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    Ricky was gladiator when he was batting except last 15 matches. :)

  • Tjoeps on December 4, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    The Aussie I loved to hate! As a Saffer, this man stood to often between us and a win.... But as a cricket fanatic I always respected Ricky for his ability and talent, in my mind, his best knock was in the 438 game, OK, was outscored by Gibbs, but go and watch that knock, that is the Ricky I love to hate! Well done, a fine career has come to an end, best wishes to you and the family!

  • Timbo2530 on December 4, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    Well done Graeme Smith and your team for the show of respect for Ricky Ponting. Very sporting.

    I don't think there'd be too many Aussie fans that would agree with "Hammond's" comment of 03 DEC.

  • on December 4, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    I really can't believe there are Ponting haters out there. He was a great captain at a time when The australian team that was so dominant was in its twilight, he had to oversee the retirements of so many great players in such a short space of time. He always led from the front with the bat and yes occasionally he had a spat but no more than any other player around the world. As a tasmanian I am proud of Ricky's achievement and am offended when people would want to be negative about his achievements. That is just tall poppy syndrome

  • melayaraja on December 3, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    Good bye to the most decorated cricketer ever.

  • Chark_attack on December 3, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    @Hammond who would they be exactly ? I've always had the greatest respect for Ricky and how he conducted himself and most people I know have felt the same.

  • Zubeir09 on December 3, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    You have left behind many unforgettable memories...Thanks for Everything You have given to us. Will miss you Ponting..

  • on December 3, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Ricky Ponting certainly left a mark on cricket that will never be forgotten. Thank You and Farewell

  • wiseshah on December 3, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    Ponting, lara, tendu, injamam---- ponting and inzy never played for personal record, always give team 100%

  • Nadeem1976 on December 3, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    that was great gesture by SA team. thanks Smith for showing respect to a legend cricketer.

  • on December 3, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    I Am So Depreesed to See a Legend Leaving... He is The Lord Of the Pitch <3 <3 <3 Luv Yu Sir <3

  • on December 3, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @Narbavi - You're right - No other Aussie captain has lost the ashes twice. Weren't they the number one team when he took over as well? Top bloke but saying no-one has done as much is daft. Bradman, Tendulkar, Richards, Imran and several others. Ponting is a world class performer in his day, but not an all time great.

  • YogifromNY on December 3, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    Great gesture from the Saffas, forming a guard of honor for this great legend of cricket. That's part of what makes them such a special side (and totally deserving of the #1 Test status), apart from being such good cricketers. Well done, Graeme and team, from an Indian supporter.

  • on December 3, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    You Ruled the Cricketing World With Your Shrewd Captaincy & Master Class Batting... One of the Priceless Cricketers of All Time.. A Magnificent Fielder & Great Ambassador for the Game of Cricket!! Thanks for Your Memories... Surely Australia & Cricket Lovers Will Miss You Punter.... Legend #RESPECT#

  • Dreamscrapper on December 3, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is surely one of the best legends Australia and World Cricket has ever had. He should be proud of his immense career as he has achieved so much for Australia as a captain, as a batsman and as a person. His retirement is truely conclusion of another Legend of World Cricket. Congrats and respect to him from me and from my country Bangladesh.

  • on December 3, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    great batsman and a fitting honour from southafricans. you fee a pride in loving cricket cause of captains like smith and legends like ponting.

  • on December 3, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    You lead Australia like a king, who was giving his 100% for the victory... batted like a hero in crucial times, and undoubtedly, a legend of modern cricket!!! take a bow punter!!!

  • Hammond on December 3, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    The Australian cricket fans who were disgusted at both his appointment as captain and his subsequent carryings on won't miss Punter in the slightest.

  • Narbavi on December 3, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    No one in the history of cricket has achieved more than what Ricky ponting achieved, farewell legend!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Narbavi on December 3, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    No one in the history of cricket has achieved more than what Ricky ponting achieved, farewell legend!!

  • Hammond on December 3, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    The Australian cricket fans who were disgusted at both his appointment as captain and his subsequent carryings on won't miss Punter in the slightest.

  • on December 3, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    You lead Australia like a king, who was giving his 100% for the victory... batted like a hero in crucial times, and undoubtedly, a legend of modern cricket!!! take a bow punter!!!

  • on December 3, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    great batsman and a fitting honour from southafricans. you fee a pride in loving cricket cause of captains like smith and legends like ponting.

  • Dreamscrapper on December 3, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is surely one of the best legends Australia and World Cricket has ever had. He should be proud of his immense career as he has achieved so much for Australia as a captain, as a batsman and as a person. His retirement is truely conclusion of another Legend of World Cricket. Congrats and respect to him from me and from my country Bangladesh.

  • on December 3, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    You Ruled the Cricketing World With Your Shrewd Captaincy & Master Class Batting... One of the Priceless Cricketers of All Time.. A Magnificent Fielder & Great Ambassador for the Game of Cricket!! Thanks for Your Memories... Surely Australia & Cricket Lovers Will Miss You Punter.... Legend #RESPECT#

  • YogifromNY on December 3, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    Great gesture from the Saffas, forming a guard of honor for this great legend of cricket. That's part of what makes them such a special side (and totally deserving of the #1 Test status), apart from being such good cricketers. Well done, Graeme and team, from an Indian supporter.

  • on December 3, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @Narbavi - You're right - No other Aussie captain has lost the ashes twice. Weren't they the number one team when he took over as well? Top bloke but saying no-one has done as much is daft. Bradman, Tendulkar, Richards, Imran and several others. Ponting is a world class performer in his day, but not an all time great.

  • on December 3, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    I Am So Depreesed to See a Legend Leaving... He is The Lord Of the Pitch <3 <3 <3 Luv Yu Sir <3

  • Nadeem1976 on December 3, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    that was great gesture by SA team. thanks Smith for showing respect to a legend cricketer.