Cricket Australia has congratulated former Australian captain Ricky Ponting who on Wednesday was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in Melbourne.
One of the greatest cricketers ever to play the game, Ponting was a brilliant batsman and fieldsman with freakish skills.
His 13,378 runs at 51.85 from an Australian record-equalling 168 Tests included 41 centuries and leaves him second only to Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar with the most runs scored in Test cricket.
Ponting was even more prolific in the one-day game, making 13,704 at 42.03 with 30 centuries in 375 matches. Only Tendulkar and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara made more runs in the 50-over format.
So imposing was Ponting during an international career which lasted almost two decades that Australia’s former runs record holder, Allan Border, once described the relentless Tasmanian as the best batsman Australia has ever produced after the incomparable Don Bradman.
Current chairman of selectors Rod Marsh vividly remembers the first time he saw Ponting bat as a 16-year-old at the original National Cricket Academy in Adelaide.
Then academy head coach, Marsh was stunned when Ponting hooked the first two balls he faced from fast bowler Paul Wilson, prompting Marsh to claim that Ponting was the best young batsman he had seen.
However, batting was just one part of Ponting’s remarkable career. History also records him as one of cricket’s most successful international captains. He won 48 of 77 Tests in charge, second only to South Africa’s Graeme Smith, and Ponting’s winning percentage of 62.24 was second only to Steve Waugh in the history of Test cricket.
Ponting was without peer as a captain in one-day cricket, leading in more matches, 230, and winning far more, 165, than any other skipper. His playing career spanned the most successful era in Australian cricket history.
In being awarded the Order of Australia in 2012, Ponting was recognised for his cricket, but also his enormous contribution to Australian society off the field.
He and his wife Rianna have raised more than 10 million Dollars (Aus) since 2002 to help young Australians and their families beat cancer. In 2008, they established the Ponting Foundation to enhance their fundraising efforts.
CA chief executive James Sutherland praised Ponting for his enormous contribution to Australian cricket and society more broadly.