Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting is widely regarded as one of the finest batsmen to have graced the game. Under his leadership, Australia won back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007 and the team remained the No.1 Test and ODI side for a major part of the 2000s decade. In spite of a glorious reign as Australian skipper, Ricky Ponting recently opened up about a “hurtful” memory that prompted him to give up captaincy.
Ricky Ponting was part of the Steve Waugh-led side that won the 1999 World Cup. Later, Ponting himself took over the captaincy of the national side and led Australia to wins in the 2003 and 2007 editions. With three consecutive triumphs, Australia were one of the favourites to lift the 2011 World Cup as well. However, their campaign was halted by a rampaging Indian unit in the quarter-final.
While speaking with a leading British broadcaster, Ricky Ponting said that he decided to step down as skipper after a defeat to India in the quarter-final on March 24, 2011. He also added that no one asked him to do so. He said that giving up captaincy was difficult and hurtful but at the time, he realised that it was the right moment to make the decision. He wanted to ensure that new captain Michael Clarke would get enough time to prepare for the 2015 World Cup. His move reaped dividends as Michael Clarke led Australia to their fifth World Cup title in the 2015 edition.
Ricky Ponting finally announced his international retirement in 2012. Apart from World Cup wins, he was known for battering opposing bowling attacks with his prolific run-scoring abilities. Overall, he stands third behind India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara in terms of number of runs scored across all international formats. During his playing days, Ponting smashed 71 international centuries across Tests and ODIs and is only second behind Sachin Tendulkar (100).