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Ponting bows out on his terms

Sportal November 29, 2012, 4:28 pm
Ricky Ponting

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Ricky Ponting says he is glad to have been able to leave Test cricket on his own terms after announcing his retirement in Perth on Thursday.

Almost exactly 17 years since he made a brilliant 96 against Sri Lanka on debut at the WACA Ground, Ponting announced the third and deciding Test against South Africa, beginning Friday at the same ground, would be his last.

The 37-year-old, who has an average of 52.21 heading into his 168th Test, said his form in the first two South Africa matches - where he has scored just 20 runs in three innings - was behind his decision to draw the curtain down on a glittering career.

"In this series so far they (my performances) have not been up to the level required of batsmen and players in the Australian team," Ponting told reporters in Perth.

"I'm glad I have got the opportunity to finish on my terms.

"Over the last couple of weeks my level of performance hasn't been good enough.

Ponting said his decision was based purely on form and insisted he still has the same affinity for the game he began playing as a young child in Tasmania.

"My passion and love for the game hasn't changed one bit," he said.

"At the end of the day (my retirement) was based on my results."

Ponting said he was determined to bow out of the game a winner by sealing a series win against South Africa to return the side to the number one Test ranking - a position they have not held since July 2009.

"We're going into what I believe is almost like a grand final. I've prepared well this week," he said.

"I'm hungrier than ever and want this win probably more than any other game that I've ever played in."

Ponting retires as Australia's greatest ever run scorer, and heading into this final Test has scored 13,366 runs with 41 centuries and 62 half centuries.

He will complete the Sheffield Shield season with Tasmania and represent Hobart Hurricanes in the second edition of the Big Bash League.

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