Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting insists that he is comfortable with his decision to retire, after missing out on a fairy-tale ending to his test career.
37-year-old Ponting was unable to prevent the Baggy Greens falling to a comprehensive defeat in the final test against South Africa, with the hosts falling 309 runs short of their victory target.
Victory for Australia would have meant a return to the top of the ICC World Test Rankings for the first time in a number of years, but as it was the visitors stepped up their performance in Perth having narrowly missed out on defeat in the first two tests to hold onto their position at the top of international cricket.
On an individual level things also failed to go to plan for Ponting with the former captain again failing to make an impact on the game, hitting only 12 runs overall from his two innings to take his total to just 32 in the entire series.
Such a poor return probably justifies Ponting’s decision to call it a day after a wonderful career, but the Tasmanian admits that he would have loved to have gone out on a high:
It was not the way I wanted to finish with that performance and that result. However, the decision to walk away was a pretty easy one. I have tried to stay away from watching and listening to everything about my retirement this week. It's not unfolded the way I would have liked. I have and cherished every moment, it was always going to end at some stage I guess.The retirement means that Ponting finishes his career with a staggering 13,378 Test match runs, and his average of just over 50 means that he is the second only to Sachin Tendulkar in that regard as well.
The South African players took it upon themselves to show their appreciation of Ponting’s achievements by forming a guard of honour after he was dismissed for the final time, and the Australian batsman said that he was touched by opposing captain, Graeme Smith’s gesture:
I was a little bit embarrassed and wish it didn't happen that way, but it was an amazing gesture by Graeme and the South African team. There are so many highlights I guess through 168 Tests. Your debuts are always special, Ashes series are always special, any time we've played against South Africa in my time has been a special series.If you are a huge cricket fan or like to watch whilst playing online, you cannot doubt that he is one of the best the game has ever seen and will be missed.