FE Edit: Punterís Farewell
The Financial Express: Nov 30 2012, 00:57 IST
The golden age of cricket, witness to batting stalwarts such as Brian Lara, Steve and Mark Waugh, Sanath Jayasuriya and Rahul Dravid, was dealt another blow with Australian great Ricky Ponting announcing his retirement from international cricket on Thursday. Ponting, arguably the greatest Australian batsman since Sir Donald Bradman, said that he was retiring after the current Test series against South Africa since he could see that his level of performance was not good enough for the Australian team. Indeed, the double World Cup winning captain hasnít played any one-day internationals (ODIs) since he was dropped from the team in February this year, and his last few Tests have seen him plumbing the depths of performance. But, apart from his batting prowess, it is the team spirit (perhaps not sporting spirit so much, in light of all the sledging) Ponting brought to the game that made him truly great. Second only to Sachin Tendulkar in terms of most runs scored in both Tests and ODIs (and closest to him in terms of most ODI centuries), Ponting, nicknamed Punter by Shane Warne for his penchant for betting on greyhounds, was team-minded enough to voluntarily give up his Test captaincy to the younger Michael Clarke last year. From then on, he rallied the team under Clarke, lending the new captain valuable support as a senior player (contrast that with the Indian scenario for just a second). Even his reason for retirement was not that he had had enough, but because he wasnít
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