Daniel Brettig
Assistant editor, ESPNcricinfo

The facts of Ponting's ODI life

In the manner of his departure from ODIs, he has mirrored the relentless and single-minded way in which he played them. No fluff, just facts

Daniel Brettig

February 21, 2012

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting before the start of the match, Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Sydney, February 17, 2012
Ricky Ponting felt he had something to offer the ODI team, but had no problem with the clear-headed and clearly spelled out decision to let him go © Getty Images

In the film Moneyball, Billy Beane and his assistant Peter Brand act out the conversation between a baseball club owner and a player he is cutting. Playing the owner, Brand attempts to move Beane on by sitting him down and talking sensitively about the situation, but his careful words are rather more effective in enraging than placating Beane's sacked player. Demonstrating his own, matter-of-fact approach, Beane sums it up: "They're professional ball players. Just be straight with them. No fluff, just facts. 'Pete, I gotta let you go. Jack's office will handle the details' … would you rather get a bullet to the head, or five to the chest and bleed to death?"

The end of Ricky Ponting's incomparable ODI career came with a swiftness that Beane would have been proud of, after a phone call from John Inverarity to indicate that the national selectors were moving on. In that moment, a journey of 375 matches, 13,704 runs, 30 centuries and three World Cup wins was ended, and ended in a most unsentimental way. Inverarity said there was no room for sentiment in the world of elite sport, and a day later Ponting agreed with him. He still felt he had something to offer the ODI team, but had no problem with the clear-headed and clearly spelled out decision to let him go.

Ponting has been a professional cricketer all his adult life, and has seldom stood for ceremony. Matters of legacy or image have invariably run a distant second to the matter of how Australia might best win cricket matches, and for 17 years Ponting has pursued Test and ODI victories with greater thirst than any player to have played the international game. He did not seek a farewell match - even though Australia's next was in his hometown, Hobart - nor a farewell tournament. In the manner of his departure from ODIs, Ponting has mirrored the relentless and single-minded way in which he played them. No fluff, just facts.

Limited-overs cricket was the avenue by which many saw Ponting for the first time. Before Australia he represented Australia A in the 1994-95 World Series, showing plenty of the poise and balance at the age of 19 that had led the then national academy coach Rod Marsh to make plenty of bold predictions about what Ponting could achieve in the game. He would go on to debut for his country during a one-day series in New Zealand in February 1995 and a month later toured the Caribbean, playing in the ODI series lost by Mark Taylor's tourists, then served as a reserve batsman while they shifted the power-base of Test cricket by unseating the West Indies at home.

Soon promoted to No. 3, in those early days Ponting would often bat in a cap for Australia, irrespective of whether he was facing Sri Lankan spin or West Indian pace. A bold century against the West Indians in Jaipur during the 1996 World Cup provided an early taste of how good he would be in the format. Later in that tournament, the Australians faced Richie Richardson's men a second time, in a white-knuckle semi-final in Mohali. Years later, in a demonstration of his keen memory but also the value he placed on each international appearance, Ponting would recall how the glare of the sun on the pitch made the early going difficult.

Difficulty accompanied Ponting at times through his formative summers, and it was during the triangular series of 1998-99 against England and Sri Lanka that he had to face up to alcohol and behavioural problems. Sporting a black eye from an eventful night out at Sydney's Bourbon and Beefsteak hotel, Ponting spoke frankly of the issues he had to address, having been suspended for three matches by Cricket Australia. He emerged from the episode a more focused and mature cricketer and young man, and within a year Steve Waugh had begun to speak of him as a potential captain.

Most laudable was Ponting's belief in Andrew Symonds, and insistence that he be included in the 2003 World Cup squad. Up to that point, Symonds had demonstrated only sporadic bursts of his undoubted talent at the top level, but Ponting persisted with him

At the time, Ponting's fielding was the source of almost as much inspiration and awe as his batting. For a time he was undisputed as not only the best but also the most predatory fielder in the world of ODIs, as seldom a match went by without a Ponting direct hit. There was a pattern to it. A batsman would chance a quick single and, responding to Adam Gilchrist's cry of "Punter!", Ponting would swoop from midwicket or cover to field and throw in a whippet's motion. Side on or facing three stumps, bowler's end or batsman's, Ponting's eye was deadly, and he turned more than one match with his swiftness.

There were catches too, of course. One flying dive to claim a screeching Sanath Jayasuriya cut at backward point during the 1999 triangular series in Sri Lanka was so startling that it sent a commentating Tony Greig into paroxysms of delight usually associated with his reactions to the feats of Australia's opponents. While the likes of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh still occupied the slips, Ponting was free to roam the in-field, and prevented many a run simply by being there.

By 2002, Ponting was ready to assume the ODI captaincy, and it was bestowed on him for that year's tour of South Africa after Steve Waugh had been removed from the post by the chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns. He relied heavily on the advice of Darren Lehmann early on, developing a captaincy style that had his own performances with the bat to rely on, but also showed signs of imagination at times - often moreso than his Test captaincy.

While he was surrounded by players of high class and even higher confidence, Ponting wrought outstanding displays from a succession of solid workers also. Andy Bichel, Brad Hogg and James Hopes were among those who would never join Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist alongside Ponting as undisputed greats, but at times their contributions were all the more critical.

Most laudable was Ponting's belief in Andrew Symonds, and insistence that he be included in the 2003 World Cup squad. Up to that point, Symonds had demonstrated only sporadic bursts of his undoubted talent at the top level, but Ponting persisted with him, even after the preceding triangular series in Australia had shown precious little evidence the muscular allrounder was ready for it. That decision was the first episode in the most meritorious passage of Ponting's ODI captaincy, and perhaps the finest in all his days with Australia.

The squad was stunned soon after its arrival in South Africa by the news that Shane Warne had tested positive for a banned drug, and was to be sent home. Minds were racing as they faced up to Pakistan in the tournament opener, and positively sprinting at 4 for 86. What followed was an innings of the highest quality from Symonds, the man and the moment meeting perfectly, and Ponting's team would gather strength with every subsequent match.

In the final, Ponting crafted his masterpiece, a brutal 140 that featured eight sixes swung without fear or favour into the arc between square leg and long-on. The Wanderers stood unanimously to applaud at the end, as Ponting had given his team a total that not even the Indian team of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid could threaten.

Reflecting on his career in the aftermath of his removal, Ponting said that tournament remained the peak of his experience. "To play the 2003 World Cup, to go through that undefeated and to have some success in the final was amazing," he said. "I said then that that was the best moment of my cricket life and to date it still is. Some of the things we've achieved in the one-day team since I've been in the team have been pretty remarkable."

Remarkable, and past. There was a vast contrast to be found between the Ponting of Johannesburg 2003 and Brisbane 2012, as he scratched around for 26 balls before delivering an outfield catch. In that moment he may not have known the end was coming, but he understood completely when it did a day later. While some pondered the suitability of the circumstances in which Ponting's ODI days had ended, the man himself was not one of them. No fluff, just facts.

Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by dms1972 on (February 24, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

Rhodes may have been slightly better (only slightly) than Ponting in terms of fielding, but Ponting was miles in front when it came to hitting the stumps. The only memorable Jonty Rhodes run out was when he demolished the stumps diving at them. Yet the number of times Ponting hit the stumps is too many to remember. The difference between a great fieldsman and a legend. And it is for that reason you'd choose Ponting over Tendulkar every single time. Very little between them in terms of their batting, but Tendulkar can only dream of the standards Ponting sets in the field.

Posted by slcrickcrazyfan on (February 24, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

Nevertheless an outstanding player & stats to back himself up and probably be the only cricketer to be apart of such a team ever...hats off...to "punter"!!!

Posted by slcrickcrazyfan on (February 24, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

He was a good cricketer no doubt, an outstanding batsman & a fielder for sure...BUT was LUCKY enough to have the world's most lethal combination of players in a single team...Still they(Aussies) might have not achieved 2 WC finals except 2007....thinking about those semis in '99 & '03 I bet you can argue with me only with little facts to prove me if I'm wrong...A tie in '99 & a missed stumping of Symonds if my memory was right before making 212 altogether and with the thunderstorm approaching SL might have won that according to duckworth & Lewis method if they had been more focussed...same goes with SA with that silly RUN OUT...when you back track, you find it some times hard to believe but true enough...But FACTS don't always support the true situation folks...never will...!!!

Posted by RandyOZ on (February 24, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Ponting is the greatest ODI player of all time. Perfect captaincy record. 3 world cups. Unbeatable average and performance when it counts. No need to even argue Tendulkar, he isn't even in the same stratosphere.

Posted by nav84 on (February 24, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

@Meety well some are just tooooooo good against weak oppositions and average against stronger whereas some remain consistently great against all of them and the rise or fall in their performance does not depend on the opposition but on their own form and fitness. i prefer the latter ones to the former ones. u might not. no issues.

Posted by shix on (February 24, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

I think no captain had achieved such a great thing in both formats of the game what ricky did for past 10yrs. He managed the pressure of captainship and as a no.3 batsman extraordinarily well. sachin is a gretaest batsman but a poor captain, lara achieved in test, but in ODI not like ricky, a better captain for not more than 5yrs. so as a batsman and as a captain ricky is the best. why not as a fielder.

Posted by Meety on (February 24, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

@nav84 - yet he had the best batting average during that period & nobody else cashed in as well????

Posted by popcorn on (February 23, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

To me, Ricky Ponting is the greatest cricketer ever. Batsman and Captain combined, here is noone ho comes even close. My scrap book of articles and pictiures of Ponting in ODI will reduce, but the Test Cricket section will contiunre. The steely glint, the impish smile, and the hard as nails winningest captain EVER, will remain as memories forever.

Posted by nav84 on (February 23, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

(2/2) continues.... also coincidental is the fact that his great captaining skills just vanished once Warne, McGrath, Gilghrist, Hayden retired and eventually he became the first australian captain to lose 3 Ashes, 2 of them back to back. A great player nevertheless but i would mostly remember him as a five years (2002-2007) wonder.

Posted by nav84 on (February 23, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

what a coincidence that ponting's best years as a batsman (2002-2007) were actually the years when the level of bowling all over the world was at its lowest low. Pakistan lost wasim, waqar and saqlain. WI lost ambrose and walsh. SA lost donald. India never had an attack other than kumble who too was lethal only at home and guess how ponting performed in india. Even SL attack of murali and vaas was great only at home and guess how ponting performed in SL. NZ lost cairns, nash and got a bond who was mostly out of the side. However just as when the level of bowling began to rise again (Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Zaheer, Anderson, Broad, Swann, Aamir, Asif, Ajmal, Malinga etc) his form dipped again and he had to depend on a helpless indian bowling attack to retain his place in aussie test team. i am sure he'll again struggle against better bowling attacks. (1/2) tbc...

Posted by Meety on (February 22, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

@MenFromMarts /Moppa /Dick Barry - re: best fielder, yes Rhodes was the most spectacular, but the best IMO is a shoot out between Mark Waugh & Punter, (never saw Bobby Simpson or Sobers or Sir Clive in their prime). To me Mark Waugh was the best, as he was a way better slipsman than Rhodes or Punter & he the stuff he did inside the circle with under arm reverse flicks etc, neither of the other two could do. That being said they were all so good as fielders, it often took focus/interest away from the pitch, & admire the fielding.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

Cricket will miss Ponting!

Posted by Moppa on (February 22, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

@ Dick Barry, the comment on Ponting's fielding wasn't half as strong as you make it out to be. "For a time" could easily mean "the time after Jonty Rhodes retired". I agree that Ponting wouldn't be indisputably the best fieldsman with Rhodes still running around, but Rhodes played his last ODI in 2003!

Posted by Mr.znXeS on (February 22, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

first time you had taken a bad decision in cricket arena ,not only bad its the worst to decide to quit .Australian cricket still needs u ,not only you but your experience more than that.I will certainly miss you in colourful dress.love you punter

Posted by   on (February 22, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

@Aristocratt Let me know when India have been number 1 for over 10 years.. I'm not expecting a response.

Posted by Samdanh on (February 22, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Besides for his so many records/achievements many of which do not have parallels to compare, the most I aodre Ponting for is this-The dedication to the team, the country. When the team had lost no less than 8-10 stalwarts within a space of 12 months, and the team was losing quite unusually, he was there wanting to be through the re-building phase. He was determined and almost has done what he wanted. Australia never went down as many expected. They are in fact consolidating in Tests and looking strong to rise. In one days they are still no.1. Compare this with many other captains who opted out of captaincy and then even from cricket when team was losing and struggling. Salute to the Man Ponting. Great Leader, a patriotic crcketer, that Austrlia should be proud of. Hats off to you. Wish you all success and happiness

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 22, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

Good onya Ricky - a great ODI career that no one will ever likely replicate with your 3 WC's & 2 as captain... Great to see him giving back to State & local cricket... Maybe now we will get better crowds next season at State matches & watch 1 of the greats doing what he loves the most...

Posted by   on (February 22, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

ODI cricket is all about building a side for the next World Cup. Players like Ponting, Lee and Sachin should have quit when last years worldcup was concluded. None of them will be available for 2015 WC so in essence they are halting the progression of a younger aspiring cricketer whoever that may be. Someone agree with me please!

Posted by warnerbasher on (February 22, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

No sentiment, no ceremony. just the way it should be. No yearning for personal goals, just a desire to win. Sometimes his onfield behaviour was over the top but on balance after a 168 test match and 300 odd 1 day match career he has been a great player for Australia. I can only imagine without the burdens of captaincy what runs he may have scored just having to worry about himself. That is not in his nature though, the team comes first!!! Onya Ricky and thumbs up mate

Posted by   on (February 22, 2012, 4:42 GMT)

Kudos to the selection panel for making this call. As great as ponting is, he should of announced his ODI retirement at the start of the summer, and he could of got that farewell series he deserved. His test captaincy lacked imagination, and at times belief, but his ODI captaincy was a lot better, but still was a little lacking. You can argue that Tendulkar and Sehwag made bigger scores with ODI 200's, but Pontings 140 in the 03 final is worth triple that in the context of the game. For many young kids and teenagers, the words australian cricket summer, and ponting go hand in hand, and i can only hope they remember the many fantastic innings ponting has played for the green and gold. Perhaps without the captaincy, a la Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Ponting could of been even better.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (February 22, 2012, 1:43 GMT)

Just watched a video again of Punter making his first test century, an excellent 127 in 1997. When he passed 100 he raised his bat, acknowleged the applause then got ready for the next ball. He didn't even take his helmet off let alone kiss it or jump in the air. That's Ricky, focussed, determined and straight to the point.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 22, 2012, 0:42 GMT)

Hey Aristocratt, thats some tri-fecta you've pulled off there. Impressive stuff. Lets see now. 1] By completely ignoring the point you managed to turn a fine article about the axing of Australias greatest ever One Day player into one about Team India. 2] By flogging a horse so old its officially a fossil (Ganguly) you should get big wraps from the palaeontologists 3] by nit-picking your way to a grand conspiracy theory, the dudes in tin foil hats will be on-side in no time. .... you know what, when Sachin finally gets the boot and some-one writes an excellent. sentimental article about the loss of one of the games greatest ever players, I reckon I'll return the favour and spoil the funeral by writing some spectacularly irrelevant drivel about how Damien Martyn was hard done by .. ..

Posted by mansel on (February 22, 2012, 0:37 GMT)

A warrior of ODI cricket leaves the game and he will never be forgotten. Long live Ponting, a true champion of the game.

Posted by gpm86 on (February 21, 2012, 23:39 GMT)

I find it funny the ppl commenting onhere saying "his axing was disgraceful, disresspectful, should of been handled better, they should have warned him he might be dropped, why didnt we get told he was retiring, why no farewell etc"

Absolutely ridiculous. Ponting knew his place. The new cricket board is basing selection on performance, with an eye for the future. Ponting wasnt in the plans for 2015 World Cup and he also was in the worst slump of his ODI career. Im sure he knew this was coming. There is no need for goodbyes. You clearly dont understand Ponting or the Aussie nature.

You must be Indian fans if you think everyone needs to have a farewell tour. Aussie selectors had the courage to drop the GREATEST ODI player of all time when not performing. India sit back and let Tendulkar run the show when he is long overdue for retirement.

I am a massive Ponting fan, but I know this is the right move for Australian cricket, and it should, give a bit more longevity to his test career

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 21:55 GMT)

This is an article about Ricky Ponting, so let's keep Ganguly, Dravid, Tendulkar, Jayasuriya, Lara etc.out of it. The man could be arrogant, and abrasive at times - unimaginative at others. But his passion, work ethic and skills were second to none. Most of all, precious few understand how taxing it is, to captain AND play. You age in dog-years and yet have to command respect through performance. Ponting did that for quite a while (admittedly, he had a cupboard full of greats to allow him the liberty). But the best part was, when the greats left he took it upon himself to lose WITH the young guys, teach them how to win, and learn how to not lose with his greener resources. Beneath all the peppery surface was a man passionate about cricket, and Australia. The manner in which his axing was handled is a credit to CA and Ponting both. Thanks for the memories Punter!

Posted by arup_g on (February 21, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

A Batting a legend for sure, but shame that his on field politics marred his personality!! Nowhere near the quality captaincy wise of Steve Waugh, but he will certainly go down as a great ODI batsman, especially for his 2003 World Cup performance!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 19:22 GMT)

Ponting has three world cups and still Indian fans think Sachin is God hyperbole,,....it is a game and it is time...Best of Luck Ricky

Posted by MitenD on (February 21, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

I am a fan of India and Tendulkar but if I were to create an ODI all-time eleven, Ricky would be the first name I would enter. Sachin would be the obvious second. No matter how bad the score was, as long as Ricky was around, you knew the game was always in Australia's favour. The same cannot even be said about Sachin. And Ricky is one of the best fielders to ever play the game. Saved a minimum of 10 runs every game.

Posted by immit13 on (February 21, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

No matter how professional Australia is... I would still like some respect shown to the veteran cricketer, if not any sentiments. He should have been told upfront that he might be dropped from ODI right at the start of tournament if he does not prove his worth to their ODI Team... I know does not sound very logical but surely it would have spurred him to do his Best, at least a cricketer of his class does not need to be treated like a "non-performing newcomer" who is DROPPED in the middle of the tournament and that too after such a sensational TEST series against India. Not that I am a big FAN of how Ponting treated his opponents (1 thing that crosses my mind is how Ponting showed attitude when J Srinath was trying to makes sure he was not hurt by his helmet crashing bouncer), but still he was and is a FIGHTER that no one can match...Best wishes for him in Future with what ever he does, yet would like him to be a part of next ASHES.

Posted by stFleming on (February 21, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

The true legend of the ODI game is leaving today...its disappointing...we'll miss u Ponting...The Greatest batsman alive...

Posted by cric4india on (February 21, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

Highly disgraceful or rather ungrateful of CA to not have let international fans (leave alone Australian) to have seen him knowing it was one last time! Truly no justice in the world! Honestly hope Sachin doesn't end up meeting something of this sort! I don't think I will be able to take it!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

I think to dump Punter before a game is completely disrectful to him and what he represented. It would have been better and more respectful to the man a cricket genius to step out in the greens of Hobart to declare to his home ground and fans he will not be around in the ODI scene. What Cricket Aus did to him a brilliant captain but nevertheless a once Aussie Captain was shamefull. However I would say Punt was one of the best and to the critics most of them who may have never played cricket but only sat and watched the sport go check yourselves but this is where the media plays with a person's career and also to those indian fans who feel it is only indian cricketer who are the best and better than everyone else, well last time I checked India has never dominated cricket the way the Aussies, West Indians and the English ever had. All the best to Punter in his future Endeavours!!!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

Great Batsman,great leader,great fielder and great team man.Ponting regarded as once in ageneration cricketter on its own league

Posted by jplterrors on (February 21, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

No real surprise as the former cpt he was always on the way out. The fmr cptn never really plays on, look at NZ with Fleming was just 34 and felt the pressure to walk away when clearly unwanted. Punters in this position now so hopefully he can cling on a while yet.

Posted by big_al_81 on (February 21, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

@ Aristocratt. Baffling. Absolutely baffling. You're worried about a throwaway sentence concerning the losing team in a match from 9 years ago and you fail to comment at all on the man at the centre of it all - Ricky Ponting. One of the cricketing greats deserves more than point-missing pedantry! Have you noticed...other teams exist and as you may have noticed, more often than not over the years, those other teams beat India. So everything isn't about India, and the failure to mention an individual isn't necessarily a conspiracy, especially when the article has nothing whatsoever to do with the target of the alleged conspiracy.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Why is it that every cricinfo comment board I read it relates back to india and how good they are blah blah, This article is about Ponting and his distinguished career, im so sick of Indian cricket fans defending there out of form side, Ponting done wonders for australian cricket and is second to none a class batsmen fielder and his win loss record wont be topped in modern times

Posted by drinks.break on (February 21, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

@Aristocratt: Ganguly?!? Seriously?!? Surely he's one of the most over-rated players of recent times. Especially in the 2003 WC. Look at his stats a bit more closely there.

Yes, he scored 465 runs at an ave. of 58. But 362 of those runs @181 came against cricketing powerhouses like Namibia and Kenya. Against the major nations, he scored 103 runs @17. Dravid did much better: while he didn't fill his boots against the minnows (he hardly had an opportunity to bat), against the major nations he made 225 runs @75. This compares favourably with Tendulkar's 300 @50. While Sehwag had a poor tournament, he at least performed in the final with 82; Ganguly could manage only a measly 24.

Posted by JimDavis on (February 21, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

It is for others to cry about the fact it ended with a dumping. Ponting knew the score - you either retire or are shown the door, and he's never wanted to retire. He knew his decision to continue left only one way to end his career to not be sentimantal or bitter about it.

Posted by rohan024 on (February 21, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

Ponting's achievements on cricket field is second to none. At the end of the day, he has the record what most men on this earth would die for - to have WON the maximum number of international matches...Who cares how many runs he got or how many wickets he took, the fact that he has tasted success more than any cricketer on this earth, makes him a legend forever...

Posted by Ponting4ever on (February 21, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

I think that dumping Ponting directly before a home game is a disgrace! Why they could not have told him unless he preformed that would be his final ODI. I would have been attending the bellerive game with my mates but after this we and many other tasmanians will not!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

Who cares about there being no room for it to be sentimental? Ponting, a great of the game, and you won't even give him one last ODI to say goodbye to all his fans, such as me? It brings a tear to the eye.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (February 21, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Ponting-the worlds greatest ODI cricketer. If you factor in that his fielding saved 10+ runs everytime and his direct hits changed games. Something lara, tendulkar could never do. Second would be Kallis, for his allround feats

Posted by Gizza on (February 21, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@Dick Barry, I would agree that Rhodes was a slightly better fielder than Ricky. But Punter definnitely outclassed him with the bat?

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Gotta keep it simple ... a superbly focused & respectfully placed article on the particulars of the career of one of our all time greats... :-) Thanx 4 the memories Punter!

Posted by mhoolahan on (February 21, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

@Aristocratt, the article's about Ponting...get over it...

Posted by Aristocratt on (February 21, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

These cricket pundits would do well to remember that Dravid's career was revived under Ganguly's captaincy, otherwise he was on his way out. By offering him a keeper's slot ------ when he was being hounded by the media for his defensive ODI batting----Ganguly gave a friend a chance, much like Ponting did to Symonds. How does a cricinfo staff mention Dravid and forget (or deliberately omit between the writer and the editor) the name of Ganguly? There is much more here than meets the eye, either Balachandran hates Ganguly or the Brettig is a sad loser, or more likely a combination of both. Leaving out Ganguly from that sentence is like walking into KFC and ordering a plate of bean sprouts. Everything's amiss. And cunningly amiss. More so when Ganguly had scripted three centuries in that World Cup (albeit two against weaker teams) and was in top form, far ahead of the more moribund Dravid. And in the first three years of the 21st century Ganguly was easily one of the top three ODI b

Posted by RoJayao on (February 21, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

Rhodes was great, Punter was better Dick Barry. Punter hit the stumps a lot more than Rhodes ever did, argue as much as you want! Way to go Ponts.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

yes he is the world best .....i think leaving ODI is not good decision he...should rest for some games then carry on playing ODI and Tests till 2014 ashes....he is only experienced member in team so he should carry on

Posted by Aristocratt on (February 21, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Between the writer and editor it would be difficult to pick who the greater invertebrate is. But sinister journalism must be exposed, and brought to the notice of all editors.

To say that Ponting set up a total that the likes of Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Dravid (of all people) could not threaten is downright cunning. Ganguly-baiting has gone on for a long time, but one expects cricinfo.com editors to be sharper when it comes to separating the wheat from the chaff from among its editorial writers.

Leaving out Ganguly's name from that sentence is downright unacceptable, whether you are a fan of his or not. Not for the first time has this happened, this subtle but insidious misleading of the cricket-loving public. The total could only be threatened by Tendulkar, Sehwag and Ganguly, not certainly Dravid.

These cricket pundits would do well to remember that Dravid's career was revived under Ganguly's captaincy, otherwise he was on his way out. By offering him a keeper's slot

Posted by anurag70 on (February 21, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

As a captain: He played 230 matches, won 161 & lost only 51 matches...what a great match winner he was...we can't forgot his inning in the 2003 world cup final...

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 21, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Beautiful man, just beautiful. ... I reckon a lot of people got Ricky wrong over the years. He's no diplomat because that's just a fancy word for lying. At times he got under peoples skins with his attitude but at least he was consistent ... as an Aussie I have no idea what it must have felt like having him playing against my team but I suspect that at least there would be no doubt as to what to expect attitude wise. .. something along the lines of "I'm here to win, and neither you or that mountain over there are going to stop me". .. maybe a bit melodramatic there but this is a sad day for me. .. loved the article, I thought it befitted Ricky nicely.

Posted by MenFromMarts on (February 21, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

@Dick'Richard'Barry. I agree Jonty was more spectacular and athletic than Ponting. But in terms of longevity, consistency and mental strength Ponting has been the best fielder - possibly ever. He takes that position in the Tests at silly mid off with no helmet, box or shin pads. Just a baggy green and a scowl. In the trenches Ponting over Rhodes any day of the week.

Posted by 68704 on (February 21, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

There is no doubt that 2003 was Ponting"s greatest world cup, though I must say 2007was not far behind. His batting at no 3 was always aggressive as he strode on to the wicket ready to take on the best of the opposition and essentially subjugated them , more often than not. His fielding has been outstanding and I can remember several game changing run outs and his catches even in the first of the one day games this year has also demonstrated his value to the team as a fielder. As a captain he was blessed with a great team of champions but his faith in Symonds is an interesting insight. To me his greatest achievement was returning from the brink of alcohol, to great heights. He is one of Australia"s greatest batsman of all times. His sacking though expected was without emotion , just like the man. I hope he leaves test cricket on a high and not leave like this. Ramanujam Sridhar

Posted by Chris_P on (February 21, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

Punter knew the story, he was there to take the captaincy from Steve Waugh and he would know that Michael Clarke was also just as ready. A great one day career, Punter, top shelf!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

"For a time he was undisputed as not only the best but also the most predatory fielder in the world of ODIs" - undisputed by Australian commentators maybe, but Jonty Rhodes is acknowledged as the greatest by most impartial judges.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

A Magnificent Career. Kudos to you Pointing , you really a epitome of consistency and determination and will always be remembered for your determined and dogged approach.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

Well....another day, another legend falls.....its a shame really, even if there is no room for sentiment in elite sport, the selectors and the nation must pay tribute to such a suberb cricketer, give him the right farwell, after all he has been a trooper, fighting for years...and this is the thanks he gets? .....I still believe he should have been given the option to announce his retirement.......anyway......this is life...when you are no longer needed your given the boot!...Well played Ricky, even if I never supported the Aussies, I loved to watch him bat, that pull shot will be missed!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

aus has been loos great player and com to the dwon sahoation ponting was a great player .

Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 7:35 GMT)


Posted by dsig3 on (February 21, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

Totally agree. There is nothing sad about this. It would be a sad day to let him play when his form is no longer good enough. Ponting will never quit, people want him to but he is the ultimate competitor. This is an honorable way to go.

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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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