Record-breaking cricketer's exit overshadows Vettel's ascension
Becoming his sport’s youngest triple champion would have earned Sebastian Vettel Person of the Week honours here at xinmsn any time.
But not now.
The Formula One racer steps aside, at least in our eyes, for cricket great Ricky Ponting, who this week announced his retirement from Tests.
"I know I have given cricket my all, it's been my life for 20 years. There's not much more I could give," Australia’s most successful captain said at a press conference.
Current skipper Michael Clarke was close to tears at the event, after being told of mentor Ponting’s decision right before it.
“He did so much the world never saw.
"The time he gives his team-mates, the advice he offers, the help he gives you at training. He picks you up when you are down, he gives you a kick up the backside when you need a kick up the backside.
"As a leader I learnt a lot from him. The one thing that sticks in the front of my mind is that Punter always said to me you've got to make sure you're leading from the front and scoring plenty of runs.
"He made it clear that was the easiest way to earn the respect of your team-mates,” Clarke wrote in a newspaper column.
Tributes have poured in from all corners, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The man he replaced as captain, the legendary Steve Waugh, also wrote, “He was utterly dedicated to improving himself as a cricketer and he was always pretty much the first to training and the last to leave.”
Ponting ties his predecessor’s Australian-record 168 appearances in his final Test today, and it must be to his credit that he is putting the country above the personal milestone of overtaking Waugh.
Having already been dropped from the ODI and Twenty20 squads, ‘Punter’ admitted his recent form dictated his decision to end 17 years of Test cricket.
"In this series so far [my performances] have not been up to the level required of batsmen and players in the Australian team.
"I'm glad I have got the opportunity to finish on my terms."
The soon-to-be 38-year-old’s 13,366 runs are the second highest in cricket history, behind only his contemporary Sachin Tendulkar.
Ponting is also the only cricketer ever to have been involved in 100 Test victories.