Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 1st day

Ponting ponders life of leisure

Daniel Brettig at Bellerive Oval

December 14, 2012

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Ricky Ponting and his daughter during a farewell lap at Bellerive Oval, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 1st day, December 14, 2012
Ricky Ponting enjoyed a farewell lap of Bellerive Oval with his daughters © Getty Images
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A week into his retirement, Ricky Ponting is already developing a taste for life after cricket.

Ponting admitted he quite enjoyed getting to a Test match right on the appointed 10.30am start time rather than two hours before, and that he was not exactly sorry to be missing training for the Hobart Hurricanes in Melbourne. This was in order to be conveyed around Bellerive Oval in the back of a ute as a way of saying thankyou to the Tasmanian cricket faithful, who numbered 6,221 on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka.

The question of Ponting's life after Test matches has been pondered by many in the wake of his emotional exit at the conclusion of the South Africa series, and the man himself is wondering aloud at how the pull of participating in the game will be diminished by the lack of Australian duty to sustain him.

"I'll see how I feel about cricket at the end of this season," Ponting told Channel Nine. "It might be a little harder for me I reckon, playing those last few games out, knowing there's not the bigger picture in mind as there's always been for me when I've played state cricket, which is to play for Australia."

While Cricket Australia and the national captain Michael Clarke are equally keen to have Ponting still involved with the team in a coaching or mentoring capacity, the attraction of a lucrative and far less stressful role as a television commentator has its appeal.

"I'd like to work in the media at some stage, at some time, in some way, shape or form," Ponting said. "Just being around cricket for as long as I have and being part of successful teams, I think I've got a pretty good knowledge of the game and I'm pretty insightful on the game I think. So we'll wait and see what happens."

Ponting was memorably granted a guard of honour by South Africa's captain Graeme Smith at the WACA ground as he commenced his final innings, and in Hobart he and his family were flanked by the ranks of cricketers from his home club of Mowbray in Launceston before starting on his valedictory lap of the oval.

"As we all know things came to an end for me last week, so to be here in a different capacity today is good fun," Ponting said. "I'm excited about this next little phase of my life, all my family here and a lot of my club-mates have even made it down for the game - they probably bought all their tickets weeks ago thinking I was going to be playing, but unfortunately I'm here as a spectator with them today.

"I generally get a little bit embarrassed when people start talking about me, and even having a whole lunch break in a Test match dedicated to me today is a little bit more than what I would have expected as well. But the reason it's here is for me to come and say goodbye to the Hobart fans and people of Tasmania who have looked after me so well over a long period of time."

As for those final moments in Perth, particularly his opponents' spontaneous gestures of thanks for a career spanning 17 years and innumerable achievements, Ponting said they would not soon be forgotten. "That is something I'll never, ever forget," he said. "When I pulled Graeme Smith out of the line and shook his hand I said 'I really appreciate this' and he said 'no, you deserve it, but just make sure you don't get too many against us today'.

"I thought all the running around that was happening after I got out was just them celebrating the wicket, but they were actually running over to try to shake my hand and say congratulations on my career. Robin Peterson got me out and actually apologised, he said 'I'm sorry about that'.

"So there were a couple of things that took me by surprise, the guard of honour and then all of them running to me on the way off. I got 10 metres from the gate and realised I hadn't said goodbye to the crowd either, so I had to take my helmet off, and do all that stuff, and make sure that I acknowledged my family, and everyone there as well. A lot of those are memories I'll never forget."

Before Ponting thinks about whether he might play another season, he has the BBL to negotiate, flying to join the Hurricanes ahead of their date with Shane Warne's Melbourne Stars on Saturday. But the enthusiasm that has always been there for any game of cricket is quickly being tested by the more leisurely life. "I'm actually missing a training session so it's not that bad," Ponting said. "The boys are over in Melbourne training at the moment, so I'd rather be here I think."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Dolci on (December 15, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

Ponting is one of the greatest of all time. @SRT_best_with_vivdonsobers You are correct, his OS average was lower than his home average. However when he did make runs while OS, he made them when his team most needed them and won games for Aus (unlike some other players). I wonder what is OS average would have been like if he played Bangladesh as many times as some others have. It appears that some of the narrow minded Indian cricket fans are very negative towards his achievements. Perhaps they should concentrate their efforts on identifying why India always has such a pitiful test team.

Posted by Looch on (December 15, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

Well played Ricky and good luck for the future, thanks for the memories. @Front-Foot-Lunge, what are you doing here, apart from your pitiful attempts at trolling. James Anderson is bowling, lube up and enjoy!

Posted by tappee74 on (December 15, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

A distiguished gentleman who has done a lot for cricket.It is men like Ricky Ponting that give cricket its deep flavor.A tremendous performer,an artist,one whose name will be inscribed on the roll of the immortals.Enjoy it from here Ricky,enjoy all that god has to offer.You are truly a great sportsman.

Posted by karusubra on (December 15, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

Ponting you are my favourite player and the the you are attacking the opponents when your team was down it was amazing to watch .I dont see many players doing this in todays cricket .hats off to you punter.

Posted by Aristotle01 on (December 15, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

A very good rather than great batsmen. Averaged only 45 overseas.

Posted by steelo_esq on (December 14, 2012, 22:47 GMT)

Punter you've been a legend for so long, easily one of the best Australia has produced. As for gsingh7... mate piss off and dont try and bring him down to your level. Enjoy your retirement Punter you've earned it

Posted by OzWally on (December 14, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

And that goes for you too @gsingh7. I bet if someone pointed out how Tendulkar was a crap Captain after his retirement you'd be on the streets burning effigies.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 14, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

To 'honor' Ponting, I think a temper-tantrum in full view of the world's cameras would suffice. This is a player universally acclaimed as the worst sportsman to have ever played the game, and hence is being labelled as such.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

hey SICK SINGH i think ur rong wat u just said infact ure sick dhoni should learn from him how to maintain a winning track instead of complaning and doing ads u got dat

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

No matter how aggressive and blunt he was on the cricket field to the opposition, I always admired him and sachin as cricketers, while growing up watching them. He's always been an exceptional cricket for Australia and the gesture by the Proteas was well deserved. Its pretty sad that we won't see him smashing bowlers in the international arena anymore. :( Always been a fan and will be 1 forever. Cheers Ricky!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Go away gsingh7 you tiny little ball bag of a person. Ricky Ponting has more cricket knowledge in his little finger than you or your entire family. He grated at times, but he will be a magnificent coach and I will not be surprised if I see him in charge of the Australian team for some years.

Idiots like you make me sick.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

Punter has been an awesome cricketer and deserves this tribute on his home ground.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (December 14, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

He is clearly one of the best cricketers to ever come out of Australia. Nice photo of him with his family. He can now spend more quality time with his kids and watch them grow up. More important things in life than cricket as wonderful as it is.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 14, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

i think world cricket wud be happy that ponting left game for gentlemen to play like dhoni and cook and amla, he was more controversial than gentle, best of luck but please stay away from this beaitiful game and never come back

Posted by spindian on (December 14, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

All the best Ricky... You'll go well in whatever you choose to do - coaching or media. I've always admired your guts and determination when you've been out of form and your ability to lead your team....thanks for all the memories.

Posted by TORONTO123456 on (December 14, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Ponting should have retired from the Hobart which is his home town /local boy against SRI LANKA where his 1 st Test match played against them and his last match should be same against SRI LANKA No test player has done so far when u started playing 1 st and last match against same country

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 14, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Go on the Seniors Golf tour Punter. I reckon you could make a comfortable living smashing golf balls around. ... see ya mate, and good luck in the future.

Posted by Big-Dog on (December 14, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

I was at the game today & i admit i teared up as he did his lap. A truely great icon of the game.

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 14, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

If Punter would have been in this match, Australia's score would have been was 240/7 or so because if Punter was in this match, PJ Hughes and his 86 also wouldn't have been.

Posted by Essex_Man on (December 14, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

I reckon he'll retire from playing completely fairly soon. I can't imagine the great Ponting fiddling around for long in domestic cricket, particularly given that the current weak standard of the game in Australia isn't going to challenge him.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

Punter you r one of the best batsmen Ive ever seen. It would be great if you could have ended your career on high note. But no matter what, you are one the best players cricket has ever seen. I wish you best for the next phase of your life.

Posted by mfmfaiq on (December 14, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

Cricketing World is Really Miss You Punter... Artful Cricketer!!

Posted by vj_gooner on (December 14, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Thanks Punter! You have spoiled my day with your quotes! I can't work today!

Posted by Meety on (December 14, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

Onya Punter. I think you should look at playing 4 or 5 seasons of BBL. It would be doing your country further service by not sucking in too many up & coming youngsters to the format, (hopefully)!

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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