Ricky Ponting taken to hospital after health scare during first Test

Ricky Ponting, pictured here with fellow Aussie legends Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer.
Ricky Ponting (R) with fellow Aussie legends Matthew Hayden (L) and Justin Langer (centre) during the first Test against the West Indies. Image: Twitter

Ricky Ponting has sent a scare through the cricket world after he was taken to hospital in Perth on Friday after suffering a reported heart issue. Ponting was in commentary for Channel 7 during the first Test between Australia and the West Indies when he reported feeling unwell.

The 47-year-old left Optus Stadium around lunch-time and was taken to hospital as a precaution. However the former Australia captain has reportedly told his Channel 7 colleagues that he is doing well.

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A Channel 7 spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph: “Ricky Ponting is unwell and will not be providing commentary for the remainder of today’s coverage. It’s not yet known if Ponting will return to commentate on Saturday, or the remainder of the Test.”

Ricky Ponting, pictured here at the SCG during the T20 World Cup.
Ricky Ponting speaks to the media at the SCG during the T20 World Cup. (Photo by Daniel Pockett-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Ponting had been in commentary during the morning session of day three on Friday but missed the remainder of play. Former teammate and Channel 7 colleague Justin Langer reportedly convinced Ponting that he should go to hospital.

Thankfully, Ponting's situation is not believed to be serious. However the scare comes just a few months after fellow Aussie legend Shane Warne died after a heart attack while holidaying in Thailand in March. Warne was just 52.

“As I’ve said to a lot of the guys I’ve been talking to over the last couple of days, just how much I love him," Ponting said in the wake of Warne's death. “I didn’t say that, but I wish I did."

Fellow Aussie great Dean Jones also died in 2020 at the age of 59 after a heart attack while commentating in India. Rod Marsh then died in February at the age of 74 after suffering a massive heart attack, while former Australian cricketer Ryan Campbell was given a minuscule chance of surviving after being placed in an induced coma for seven days following a cardiac arrest in April.

"I wish Ricky the best," Aussie captain Pat Cummins said after play on day three. "We were just chatting to him this morning out on the field. By all reports it sounds like he's going ok. Anything like that is super scary, so we wish him the best."

Ponting is a legend of Australian cricket. He played 168 Test matches and 375 one-day internationals during a glittering career in which he amassed 13,378 Test runs - the most by an Australian batter ever and only second to Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.

He also racked up 13,704 runs in ODIs, which is third all-time behind Tendulkar and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. Fans have been sending their well-wishes to Ponting on social media.

Pat Cummins makes history in first Test

Meanwhile, Cummins has became the second-fastest Australian pace bowler to reach 200 Test wickets. Playing in his 44th Test, Cummins brought up the milestone when he took the top of Kraigg Brathwaite's off stump on Friday.

Only Dennis Lillee (38 Tests) achieved the feat faster than Cummins among Aussie pace bowlers. The Aussie captain's 3-34 on Friday took his Test average to 21.50, which is now the best of any Australian bowler with 200 or more wickets to their name, as is his strike-rate of one wicket every 47.1 balls. English great Fred Trueman and West Indies legend Malcolm Marshall are the only others to have taken 200 wickets at a strike-rate of better than 50 and average less than 22.

Cummins and Mitchell Starc gave Australia the chance to push for a big win after running through the West Indies to bowl them all out for 283. The home side claimed a 315-run first-innings lead before going to stumps on day three at 1-29, with David Warner (17 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (three not out).

Starc earlier took 3-51 from 22 overs, while Nathan Lyon grabbed 2-61. Cameron Green bagged a late wicket, getting Shamarh Brooks caught behind.

with AAP

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