The best of Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting, who is retiring from Test cricket, has left his mark on sporting history. Cricket writer Jesse Hogan explains how.PT5M54S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2al9e 620 349 November 30, 2012
The English media has hailed Ricky Ponting on the eve of the former Australian captain's 168th and final Test match at the WACA on Friday.
Former England captain Michael Atherton lauded Ponting as a "great competitor".
The sad truth is we wish more of our sportsmen and women were like you. And that's why we must say sorry
"He's right up there [with the best ever], averaging more than 50, the second most Test runs and more than 40 hundreds," Atherton told Sky Sports.
"Great competitor" ... Ricky Ponting celebrates the dismissal of England captain Michael Atherton during the fifth Test at Trent Bridge on August 10, 1997. Atherton has lauded Ponting's achievements. Photo: AP
"But I don't think of him so much in a statistical way. He was just a great competitor for Australia."
Former English off-spinner Vic Marks lauded Ponting in London's The Guardian, calling him a "team man, right down to the decision to quit Test cricket".
Marks said Ponting is the first of the three "undroppables" to retire, with Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar and South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis likely to depart the international arena soon.
"His natural instinct was to attack" ... Ricky Ponting plays a shot during his Test match debut against Sri Lanka at the WACA in 1995. Photo: Getty Images
Derek Pringle, writing in the London Telegraph, said Ponting was "a batsman and captain whose natural instinct was to attack, whatever the situation. He leaves the game as one of its greats and arguably its toughest competitor".
London's Daily Mail took the opportunity to apologise to Ponting for accusing him of cheating, unsporting behaviour, two-facedness, but mostly for creating the caricature Ratty Ponting.
"Like all the greatest villains, we loved to hate you. Like all Australians, we've loved making fun of you. Above all else we loved beating you - and we'd gotten used to that," wrote Mark Alford.
Last of the "undroppables" ... Ricky Ponting, right, applauds South Africa's Jacques Kallis during the first Test at the Gabba on November 11. Photo: Reuters
"The sad truth is we wish more of our sportsmen and women were like you. And that's why we must say sorry."
Dileep Premachandran in Wisden India said Ponting's departure will now put the spotlight on Tendulkar. He praised Ponting's courage for fronting up to the indiscretions of his youth without seeking to shirk responsibility.
"It took as much courage to stay in charge of a team that was in decline, to accept that the days of taking victory almost for granted were gone. Some will remember him for presiding over three Ashes losses. Others will recall how ferociously he fought to arrest the decline," wrote Premachandran.
Ricky Ponting poses with a replica Ashes Urn after day five of the third Ashes Test between Australia and England at the WACA on December 18, 2006. Photo: Getty Images
"His match-saving century at Old Trafford in 2005 will go down in the annals and, personally, I'll never forget the century in Bangalore in 2008, a stroke-filled riposte to suggestions that he wasn't the same batsman in Asia."
Above: A screengrab from The Daily Mail website's "tribute" to Ricky Ponting.