Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from Test cricket. Photo: Getty Images
Canberra cricket fans will be the last stop of Ricky Ponting's farewell tour after the Australian great announced his retirement on Thursday afternoon.
Ponting will play his last Test for Australia against South Africa in Perth from Friday.
But it's his date at Manuka Oval on January 29 which will give the capital's cricket community an opportunity to say goodbye to a modern-day great in what looms as his last big outing.
Ponting will captain the Prime Minister's XI against the West Indies in the first cricket match under lights at Manuka Oval.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsman in Australian history despite his recent struggles at the crease.
Ponting will continue to play for Tasmania in the domestic competition for the remainder of the summer.
But the PM's XI match will be an official tribute to the master who played more than 160 Tests and 375 one-day international matches.
He has achieved everything international cricket has to offer.
Ponting told his teammates of his decision to quit Test cricket on Thursday morning and announced it publicly in a media conference at the WACA.
"Over the last couple of weeks my level of performance hasn't been good enough," he said.
"My passion and love for the game hasn't changed.
"At the end of the day (the decision) was based on my results.
"In this series so far they have not been up to the level required of batsmen and players in the Australian team.
"I'm glad I have got the opportunity to finish on my terms."
Ponting said he would in no way be distracted for the series-deciding Test against South Africa where the world No.1 ranking is up for grabs.
"I want this win more than any other game I have played in."
The 37-year-old will finish his Test career equal with Steve Waugh as the most capped in Australian history with 168 games.
Ticket sales for the annual Prime Minister's XI match have been slow due to the addition of the inaugural appearance of the Australian team in a one-day international against the Windies in February 6.
But the chance to see Ponting in action for the final time, along with it being the first game in Canberra under lights, is set to ensure a bumper crowd.
After making 4 and 16 in Adelaide, and a duck in Brisbane, Ponting's dream of surviving to play against England in upcoming Ashes series appeared doomed.
The imposing right-hander overcame a similar lean patch to record a vintage summer last season, scoring 544 runs at 108, including a century in Sydney and a double century in Adelaide.
Ponting started the domestic season in blazing form, but failed to counter the new ball when confronted with the world's best pace attack.
Ponting made his Test debut at Perth in 1995 against Sri Lanka, making 96. It was an apt start to what became one of the most successful Test careers in Australian cricket history.
Ponting has averaged 52.21, scoring 41 centuries and 62 50s