Batting legend Ricky Ponting has been formally inducted to Australian Cricket Hall of Fame at the 2018 Allan Border Medal ceremony in Melbourne on Monday (February 12).
Ponting, who happens to be the most capped Australian Test and One Day International cricketer ever, went a bit nostalgic while recalling his illustrious cricketing journey at the Allan Border Medal night. The 43-year-old still yearns to be back on the field wearing that baggy green cap.
“Still to this day now, a few nights a week I go to bed and I have this dream about making a comeback and I’m picked in the Australian team,” Ponting quoted according to FoxSports at the Allan Border Medal ceremony.
“But I get to the ground, making my comeback, and I go through the warm-up and go back into the change room and when it’s my turn to bat, I haven’t got a bat.
“Every day of my junior career or whatever it was, I always had a bat and when I had a bat, I knew I was safe and I knew I could do something and achieve something - but those days finish and they go pretty quickly,” he added.
Having made his international debut in 1995, Ponting has played 168 Tests and 375 ODIs for Australia and became the leading run-scorer for his country in both formats. Ricky amassed 13378 Test runs in 168 matches at an incredible average of 51.85 with 41 centuries, while in ODIs, he aggregated 13704 runs in 375 matches at an impressive average of 42.03 with 30 centuries.
Ponting called time on his international cricket career in 2012 and is currently assisting the all-format Australia coach Darren Lehmann in the ongoing T20I Trans-Tasman tri-series.
“Here we are now, nearly five years after I retired and it’s gone just like that.
“It was only a couple of days ago down in Hobart I was talking to one of your young guys in the T20 team, Alex Carey, about (how) I played the first-class game for 21 years and it felt like it was 20 minutes,” Punter said.
Apart from Ponting, former Australia batsman Norm O'Neill and the women's team captain Karen Rolton will also be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. While the late Norm O'Neill has represented Australia in 42 Tests from 1958 to 1965, Karen Rolton has played 14 Tests, 141 ODIs and 15 T20Is for her country in between 1995 and 2009.
During his 17-year-long cricketing career, Ponting captained Australia a record 324 times across formats. The Tasmania born cricketer has led his country to back-to-back ICC Cricket World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007. Moreover, Ricky captained the national team in their two consecutive ICC Champions Trophy triumphs in 2006 and 2009. No wonder, Ponting is a worthy candidate for this honour.
“It was a result of where I came from. My upbringing and my club mates, I learned to play the game a certain way,” he asserted.
“It was all about winning. That’s what my whole life was about. It was about trying to find a way to win. It’s fair to say he found plenty,” concluded Ponting.