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Australia batsman Ed Cowan pays tribute to Ricky Ponting in the Australian. While Ponting liked making runs, Cowan says, what he really liked was winning cricket matches - that was absolutely everything to him.
Cricket was his world: reeling off grade scores from the newspaper; picking up every single bat in the change room to see "how it feels"; and throwing balls for hours to anyone who asked, he gave himself completely to the game of cricket.
Cricket was his education. He joined it as a boy and learned life's lessons with everyone watching. It did not make him cynical but rather, wise. He became an eloquent, worldly and intelligent man.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.