Alas, the decision that we all saw coming has finally arrived.
Ricky Ponting’s highly decorated one day international career has finally come to a close after “stepping down” or sacked or given a little push out the door- phrase it however you like. Ponting has cemented himself in the top three greatest Australian one day players of all time, alongside Michael Bevan and Shane Warne.
Ponting averaged an impressive 42 throughout his career, which included match winning World Cup performances.
In the last five innings he managed just 18 runs.
Ricky’s greatness is cemented in stone but it was time for Ricky to step away from the shorter version of the game.
So why all the shock in certain corners of the Australian cricket community?
Well firstly, age should have not been a factor in Cricket Australia’s decision to drop Ponting when we consider the old war-horse, Brett Lee, is still hurling down 60 deliveries a game. In fact, I forgot Lee was still donning the coloured clothing.
Ponting’s “retirement”, if you will, came because of form. Nothing else. If Ponting failed against India in the recent Test Series than we would be reading front, middle and back page spreads of Ponting’s greatest moments- from his bar fights and black eyes to his memorable century in his hundredth test match.
Cricket Australia’s management of Ponting over the last week could be described as pathetic. Yet, we have grown accustomed to clumsy and poor management by CA.
The outrage, shock and in the words of a now published writer, Matthew Hayden, “it’s a disgrace”. Thanks Matthew for adding fuel to the fire. Hayden has never had a problem with opening his mouth. Hayden argues that Ponting’s form over the test series should be taken into consideration when considering his ODI future.
Well, his comments are misguided and blurred by the “mates syndrome”. One day cricket should and does not have any correlation with test cricket. If Ponting’s good form continues in the test arena, then he has his flight tickets booked for next year’s Ashes Series. Yet, does that mean he should be re-called for the 50-over game?
The short answer. No.