Ponting award won’t mean Test comeback

By , 21 Mar 2013

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    It’s been a stellar season for Sheffield Shield player of the year Ricky Ponting, if you don’t count the three biggest cricket games he played.

    That’s the former Test skipper’s own assessment of a 2012-13 campaign in which failure against South Africa ended his brilliant international career, but also netted 875 Shield runs for Tasmania at 87.5.

    “It probably wasn’t quite the year I was hoping for at the start of the season,” Ponting told an audience on receiving the award at Bellerive.

    “As it turns out, I’ve had a pretty good year other than the three big games of Test match cricket that I’ve played where things didn’t quite go to plan.”

    Ponting made just 32 runs in five innings against the world No.1 Proteas and announced he would end his 168-match career before the third Test in Perth in December.

    But his three Shield centuries – including a double ton against NSW at Bellerive last month – had Australian coach Mickey Arthur lamenting Ponting and Mike Hussey’s retirements as the national side struggle at 3-0 down in India.

    The 38-year-old, who will be in England playing county cricket for Surrey as Australia attempt to regain the Ashes, ruled out an international comeback.

    “I haven’t had the phone call yet,” he joked.

    “International cricket’s long passed me by and I’ve just been really excited about giving back to Tasmanian cricket whatever I could for this season.

    ” … The decision you make to retire when you do is a very big one.

    “I know I put a lot of time and thought into making the decision that I made for all the right reasons.”

    Ponting revealed he’d watched little of Australia’s struggles on the subcontinent in an attempt to come to terms with retirement.

    “I loved the game so much and loved representing my country so much that I thought if I sat back and watched a lot of that, I’d miss it even more,” he said.

    But he admitted the results had been disappointing.

    “I think everyone knew going there that it was going to be a tough tour for Australia,” he said.

    “The conditions they’ve been confronted with over there they just don’t see in our country and you just don’t see in most other countries around the world that you play in.

    ” … Those guys that have been on that tour will be a whole lot better next time they go there and next time they’re confronted with conditions like that.”

    Ponting won the award with 18 votes, beating South Australian bowler Chadd Sayers (16), NSW newcomer Gurinder Sandhu and Queensland’s Usman Khawaja (both 12).

    Victoria’s Aaron Finch was named state one-day player of the year after averaging 84 in the competition.

    The women’s state player of the year award was shared between VicSpirit’s Meg Lanning and Western Fury’s Nicole Bolton, while the Fury’s Jenny Wallace took home the WT20 gong.

    © AAP 2014
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