Monday marks the 17-year anniversary of former Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting's innings that knocked the Men in Blue into oblivion. Ponting made an unbeaten 140 in the final of the ICC World Cup in 2003 against India at Johannesburg. The Ricky Ponting 140 effort helped Australia win its second World Cup in a row.
Ricky Ponting 140 in the World Cup final is arguably one of his most-destructive innings in the white ball format. Ponting hit eight massive sixes in an innings which many Indians remember for Ricky Ponting's alleged "spring bat". Here is a picture of Ponting's bat from the historic 2003 Final.
Given we've all got a bit of time on our hands as we stay at home, thought I'd go through what I've kept from my career and share some of it with everyone on a regular basis - this is the bat I used in the 2003 World Cup final. pic.twitter.com/meoBP6NJvg— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) March 23, 2020
Indians fans were given a trip down memory lane and had some interesting replies to Ponting's bat.
So, this is what ruined the dreams of 1 bn people back then— Prithvi (@The_BeardMan_) March 23, 2020
Every Indian from 90's will be searching for the spring in the bat😂😂— Ashirwad Karande ℹ️ (@AshirwadKarande) March 23, 2020
That's edited one, here's the real image pic.twitter.com/8eVEa04Z0z— Rishabh Srivastava (@AskRishabh) March 23, 2020
One of the biggest questions that seems to plague Indian cricket fans till date is that "Did Ricky Ponting use spring bat in 2003 World Cup final?". The hoax reportedly originated on the April Fool's Day of 2003 as Indian fans tried to digest the fresh defeat that they had suffered in the World Cup final. The idea was further fuelled by Ponting's effortless-looking shots in the final. After all, the Australian skipper had hit eight sixes in his innings.
Almost two years after the World Cup victory, Ricky Ponting and a few other players ran into trouble over graphite reinforcements in their Kookaburra bats. The Ricky Ponting graphite bat had a thin strip of graphite reinforcement at the back which the ICC and the MCC deemed illegal. The Ricky Ponting graphite bat was soon withdrawn from international cricket and all players started using normal bats. There have been 30 Ricky Ponting centuries in the ODI format during his career from 1995 to 2012. His 140* against India remains one of his most popular ODI knocks to this day.