Decade Review 2009
Player of the Decade

Ponting voted Player of the Decade

Australian captain beats Jacques Kallis to be voted cricketer of the 2000s

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Ricky Ponting has been voted Player of the Decade by an overwhelming majority by a jury comprising former and current players and cricket writers.

Ponting got 60 points (a first-place vote fetched three points, a second place two, and third place one), 23 more than second-placed Jacques Kallis. Adam Gilchrist was ranked third (29 points), while positions four to seven went to Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath, Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne.

Ponting scored more runs and centuries in both forms of the game than any other batsman in the decade, and he was the only one to go past the 9000-mark in both Tests and ODIs. In 107 Tests between 2000 and 2009, he scored 9458 runs at 58.38, and 32 of his 38 centuries. Ponting and Kallis, along with Mohammad Yousuf, were the only batsmen to average more than 58 in Tests in the decade.

Ian Chappell, the former Australian captain who was part of the jury, said Ponting's ability to survive difficult periods and also counterattack successfully, made him the best batsman of the decade. New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said Ponting was the player of the decade "for his ability to dominate bowlers all across the world for such a long time".

Tony Greig, the former England captain, said there hadn't been a modern allrounder who produced as consistently with bat and ball as Kallis did. "Jacques Kallis has been Sobers-like in respect of his all-round contribution for South Africa."

Two of the biggest names of modern cricket, Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar didn't fare too well. Lara got just three points, after featuring as No. 1 in one juror's list. Of the 13 jurors who voted for Tendulkar, only three rated him as No. 1. Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Matthew Hayden, Graeme Smith, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf were among those who did not get any votes.

Apart from Chappell and Vettori, the 38-member jury included Graham Gooch, John Buchanan, Tom Moody, Javagal Srinath, Geoff Boycott, Mushtaq Ahmed, Rashid Latif, David Lloyd, Ranjan Madugalle, Tony Greig and Geoff Lawson.

The Top 10

Ponting got 13 No. 1 votes, eight more than Kallis. Gilchrist, who got seven No.1 places, lost out overall because he got only three No. 2 slots as compared to Kallis' nine. A clear indication of Ponting's domination was that while he didn't figure at all in nine juror lists, Kallis was missing from 20. A pointer also, to Australia's pre-eminence as a team is that four of their players make it to the top seven.

Tony Cozier, commentator and journalist, said many people didn't realise just how impressive Ponting's numbers were. "Mark Twain might have been right when he said there are lies, damn lies and statistics but even he couldn't argue with Ponting's amazing numbers."

Ponting's most productive year of the decade was 2003: in 11 Tests he scored 1503 at 100.20, with three double-centuries. Outside Australia, he played in England most, averaging 43.28 from 15 Tests there. Among countries where he played five or more Tests in the decade, his form was worst in India: 21.85 from eight Tests, with only one century. Kallis, on the other hand, thrived in India and fared poorly in England.

Ponting's best periods in ODIs came in the World Cup years. In the 2003 tournament he scored 415 runs, including an unbeaten 140 in the final. In 2007 he made 539 from 11 matches. Apart from his phenomenal batting exploits, he also led Australia to 192 wins (40 Tests, 145 ODIs and seven Twenty20s), including two World Cups and two Champions Trophies.

Click here for more about the jury and the leading contenders

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 280 
Posted by Jamasys on (January 16, 2010, 11:57 GMT)

Anyway well done to R.P he really deserves it that double century the other day shows he's still got it.

Posted by Jamasys on (January 16, 2010, 9:36 GMT)

If there is anyone else who deserves the award more than Ponting its McGrath not Kaillis.

Posted by Jamasys on (January 16, 2010, 9:22 GMT)

Also might i add that after the first innings in the current test in Hobart Ponting finished on 209. Enough said.

Posted by Jamasys on (January 16, 2010, 9:19 GMT)

Oh please, im sick to death with all these people complaining about kallis not winning and having 'better stats' than Ponting with combined batting and bowling. That is just like saying McGrath was a better bowler than Kallis but Kallis scored way more runs therefore Kallis is a better cricketer than Glenn McGrath or Shane Warne, and everyone knows thats completely wrong. And Kallis may be alot betterat bowling than Ponting, but R.P is a better batsman AND fielder(probably the best fielder in the world) , so I don't see how that adds up to Kallis being better.

And i might add Ponting has won more test matches as a player than anyone else. Also, in some of Australia of Australia's greatest victories, such as the 5-0 Ashes win, the player of the series was not warne or Mcgrath but Ponting, also he was awarded best player in the recent Champions trophy and on top of that has won ICC Player of the year twice, more than any other player.

Also, all these people who

Posted by heterosexualcricketfan on (January 16, 2010, 7:04 GMT)

I'll be surprised if this post gets published,but here goes.I'm not surprised to see the crocodile-dundees going bananas over this.This parochialism is just pathetic.Not surprised to see"I am an Indian,but I worship Ponting & would marry him If I had the opportunity"either.Non-resident-Indians & a tiny sect of hyperventilating fellow indians have a completely different way of thinking to the average indian.In any case,this isn't an ind-aus issue.My vote would have gone to either McGrath,Tendulkar or Kallis.But leaving this decade aside,since there's been so much Tendulkar vs Ponting in the posts here,lets compare the right stats.Tendulkar:Innings-265,Average-54.72,Runs-12970,100's-43 & 119 of those innings are at home(45%) while 146 are away ones,home & away avg the same,lowest avg is 40 in SA.Ponting:Innings-240,Average-55.59,Runs-11787,100's-39 & 132 of his innings are at home(55%) while 104 are away,home avg 10 runs more,lowest avg is 21 in Ind.Ponting's not as good as you think.

Posted by msw010 on (January 16, 2010, 6:03 GMT)

all the foks who speak of less pressure on Ponting since he plays for strong team. the great pressure in being no 1 and to retain the same tag for long time. that is pressure, to bat for weak team is no presure bcos nobody expects them to win, whereas to bat in strong team, people tend to expects them to win all the time. that is real presure. ponting did that for the last 10 years consistently. people always talk that only mcgrath & warne were reason for aussies victory.. if the same bowlers were nmade to play for Zimbabwe, they would have retired long back. it is no use to hae great bowlers without strong batting. prime ex.. PAK (akram,waqar,aktar,saqlain,mustaq,razzag,azhar) with this bowling line up pakistan could not become best team, reason weak batting. everybody tend to forget that aussie brilliant / blinder fielding yeilded that some % of wkts. had they bowled with fieding team like india they would have lost around 150 to 200 wkts from their career tally.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (January 16, 2010, 0:39 GMT)

It appears that the voting members were predominantly Aussies/NJ. Kallis is the best to qualify for this based on his allround performance.

Posted by cindian on (January 15, 2010, 23:59 GMT)

No please tell me they did not do this! Ricky Ponting---my God --he has done great disservice to cricket to make him Cricketer of the Decade. A cheat and bully on the field and allows all kind of trash on field to spoil the game of cricket. Just goes to show by cheating and bulling you can get to the top--a great lesson for youngster(sic)

Posted by Mitcher on (January 15, 2010, 21:36 GMT)

jmoses: ha ha!!! You sir have made my day. Good to see one person is brave enough to play the 'race card' overtly by claiming the panel is "anti Asian". Never mind that of the 38 judges a significant number are in fact Asian. While hundreds of your whining mates have simply implied this view, you have gone above and beyond in distinguishing yourself as the number one bonehead. In my experience those making these sorts of accusations are the ones with the actual prejudice problems.

Posted by roo123 on (January 15, 2010, 20:41 GMT)

how can anyone add ODI and test runs together and even out the average? LOL. Can we add in strike rates by the way? That's what puts ponting ahead as a batsman.

In any case, my own cricketer of the decade would have been mcgrath - impeccable record everywhere bar none, won all the big games with the ball and bowed out in style. Was not even involved in the 05 ashes losses.

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