Retiring Australia cricket great Ricky Ponting gives an
interview after the third test against South Africa in
Perth as team captain Michael Clarke (R) looks on.
Retirement sunk in quickly for Ricky Ponting, but the
emotions took some time to flow.
Ponting was able to crack a few jokes while reflecting on his
168-Test career following Australia's 309-run loss to South
Africa at the WACA Ground on Monday.
But at the end of his 16-minute press conference, when he
took time to thank his family for their support, Ponting
finally let the emotion of the occasion get the better of
Choking back tears, Ponting had to pause several times to
collect himself while giving praise to his wife Rianna and
his parents for all the sacrifices they made in helping him
become one of the nation's finest ever cricketers.
It was a touching moment from a player who normally keeps his
cards close to his chest.
Ponting wasn't able to conjure up the fairytale finish he
desired in Perth, with the 37-year-old posting scores of just
four and eight in his final Test.
And after making just 32 runs at an average of 6.4 during the
three-Test series against South Africa, Ponting knew he had
made the right decision to retire.
"Normally for me when those big moments come and I've been
under pressure I've been able to find something and find
something within and go out and score runs and make it all go
away," said Ponting, holding his four-year old daughter Emmy
while her one-year-old sister Matisse watched on.
"But I haven't been able to do that for a while now and
that's when the alarm bells started to ring.
"Within my own mind I knew it was the right time to be
"I had a bit more of a fairytale ending in my own eyes than
what's happened this week.
"And still things are going badly for me even now (as a loud
tap noise interrupts his press conference), so it's been one
of those weeks I guess.
"Now that it's over, it has sunk in."
Ponting received a guard of honour from South Africa's
players when he made his way to the crease on Monday for the
"It was a bit unexpected I must admit," Ponting said of the
gesture, which was organised by Proteas skipper Graeme Smith.
"I was a bit embarrassed. But it was an amazing gesture. I
thanked him when I made my way there."
And after South Africa wrapped up the win and a 1-0 series
triumph, Ponting was chaired off the ground by David Warner
and Michael Clarke.
Ponting nominated Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar as the best
player he ever played against, but said he probably lost more
sleep thinking about ways to stop West Indies great Brian
And as for the toughest bowlers he's faced? Wasim Akram and
Curtly Ambrose headed the list, although Ponting said Indian
spinner Harbhajan Singh also caused him plenty of headaches.
Ponting said Rob Quiney, Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja were
the obvious candidates to replace him, but thought Alex
Doolan could be a roughie.