Ponting all smiles after tour
Ricky Ponting has described Australia's tour of England as "one of the most enjoyable tours" of his career.
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 21/09/09 9:53am
Ricky Ponting has described Australia's tour of England as "one of the most enjoyable tours" of his illustrious career.
The 34-year-old captain's side bounced back from a narrow 2-1 Ashes series defeat by trouncing England 6-1 in their One-Day International series.
And, while a four-wicket defeat in the final match of the series at Durham on Sunday prevented Australia from securing a record-breaking series whitewash, Ponting - who was controversially booed by some England fans at Edgbaston - spoke glowingly about the past four months.
"This has been if not the most enjoyable then one of the most enjoyable tours I've been on - and we lost the Test series as well," he said.
"I've enjoyed it from the start until the last ball was bowled today. There was a lot made of the booing stuff that took place early on - that wasn't a big deal as far as I was concerned.
"I enjoyed the contest that was on the field with England through the Ashes series and I've enjoyed the games I've played here through the one-dayers.
"It's a great country to play cricket in, there's other things you can go out and do outside of the cricket time as well around England which adds a little bit to the tour so I've enjoyed it immensely."
Ponting notched the 68th ODI half-century of his career at Chester-le-Street to surpass former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq's 11, 739 one-day runs.
He now trails just Sachin Tendulkar (16,895 runs) and Sanath Jayasuriya (13,343) in the list of all-time highest runscorers in the 50-over game, but the team's success remains his priority heading into the ICC Champions Trophy.
"I didn't know that I went past Inzamam. Who am I chasing now?" said Ponting when told of the news. "It'd be nice if those two blokes [Tendulkar and Jayasuriya] retired. I didn't know that but I guess it's a nice thing to have behind you.
"Hopefully I have a few more runs to make in the next few weeks as well. It's when the big games come around that the big players like me need to stand up.
"I was really disappointed at the stage of the game I got out on Sunday so hopefully next week if I get off to a good start and get 50 then I need to go on and make a big score."
The Aussies open their Champions Trophy campaign against West Indies in Johannesburg on Saturday, before taking on India and Pakistan in their remaining Group A fixtures.