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What now for Ricky Ponting?

The Perth Test will be the last time we see the great man pull on the baggy green. But what might retirement hold?

Alan Tyers
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke at Australia's training session, Adelaide, November 20, 2012

Alternative career No. 57: Prospective prospector. "There's gold in them thar hills, Pup"  •  Getty Images

1) Dossier compiling and research
Australian cricket needs its ex-players to step up with valuable intuitions into the team's opponents. It will be hard to top Justin Langer's "Aw look, bowl it at the stumps" level of insight, but Ricky has a lot to offer.
2) Coach of England
With the job being divided between Ashley Giles and Andy Flower - as well as a support staff of thousands - there should be a role as specialist gum-chewing and staring coach for Ricky if he wants it.
3) Christmas Pantomimes in England
No Australian cricketer of recent years has been so lovingly hated by English fans as Ricky. This could be ideal preparation for a spell in the West End as Captain Hook, or perhaps with fellow former skipper Steve Waugh as an Ugly Sister two-for-one combo.
4) Nature documentary stunt double
With the Tasmanian batting monkey currently on the critically endangered list, there could be useful cash-in-hand work available for Ricky posing in David Attenborough videos.
5) Full-time carer for Mitchell Johnson
It is always hard to explain to children why a parental figure has left the family unit, and Mitchell will need a lot of support as he comes to terms with the absence of Mister Ricky from the dressing room.
6) After Dinner Roadshow
There's good money to be made in the after-dinner speaking game, but what Ricky needs most of all is a gimmick. It's time to dig out the phone number of old nemesis Gary Pratt and take that legendary comedy double act on the road.
7) Tiny Cage Fighter
Following the examples of Adam Hollioake and Andrew Flintoff, could Ricky step into the ring? The quick reflexes and will to win are there, and Ricky can call upon pugilism experience from early in his career, although hopefully he would be fighting in more salubrious venues than outside Sydney nightclubs.
8) Putting the fear of God into his unworthy successors
Could Rob Quiney be frightened into becoming a credible Test match No. 3? Maybe, maybe not: but it would be fun to watch Ricky try.
9) Getting the band back together
With Justin, Haydos, Warnie and the Evil Glen all retired, could it be time for a Harlem Globetrotters style ex-Aussie team to tour the world, dishing out sledging and mental disintegration to school teams and scratch XIs on an exhibition basis?
10) Leader Of The Free World
Ricky must have some sympathy with lame duck president Barack Obama, and maybe the great batsman is ready for the toughest job of all: succeeding Obama as president of the United States. With his leadership skills, straight talking and uncanny resemblance to George W Bush, a 2017 presidential run should not be ruled out.

Alan Tyers' new book with illustrator Beach is Who Moved My Stilton? - The Victorian Guide to Getting Ahead in Business