Ricky Ponting to quit international cricket after a 17-year career
Ricky Ponting has revealed he will retire from international cricket at the end of the third Test against South Africa.
Last Updated: 30/11/12 6:26am
The 37-year-old, who is the second highest run scorer in Test history, announced his decision in Perth, drawing to an end a 17-year career at the highest level.
Ponting's future has been the subject of much speculation following poor performances against the Proteas in Brisbane and Adelaide, scoring just 20 runs.
On the fourth morning of the Adelaide Oval Test he admitted that he was unsure about his place in the team, conceding that there was a real chance he would be dropped for Perth.
Coach Mickey Arthur, captain Michael Clarke and senior batsman Mike Hussey all threw their support behind Ponting following the second Test, insisting a return to form was not far away.
But with a three-Test series to come against Sri Lanka later this summer ahead of back-to-back Ashes series away and then at home against England, Ponting has decided to fall on his sword.
"It's a decision I thought long and hard about, put in long consideration about the decision, at the end of the day it was about my results and my output in this series so far," said Ponting.
"It hasn't been to the level required for batsmen and players in the Australian team. My level of performance hasn't been good enough.
"This is not a decision that's been made by the selectors, this a decision that has been made by me. I'm glad I've got the opportunity to go out on my terms."
The Perth Test will be Ponting's 168th, meaning he will finish his career level with former captain Steve Waugh as Australia's most-capped Test player.
Heading into his final match the Tasmanian, who will turn 38 next month, has scored an Australian-record 13,366 runs at an average of 52.21, including 41 centuries and a highest score of 257.
Ponting's retirement comes nine months after he quit the one-day international arena and just under two years after he relinquished the captaincy of the Test squad following the 2010/11 Ashes loss.
His 48 Test wins as captain was another Australian record, although his leadership will also be remembered for three Ashes defeats, the first of them in 2005 coming after his country had held the famous urn for 16 years.
After making his debut in 1995/96 against Sri Lanka, scoring 96 before being given out LBW to a delivery that appeared set to bounce over the top of the stumps, Ponting became Australia's most prolific batsman.
His international career will now wind down at the same ground where it began against Sri Lanka.
Ponting was named ICC Player of the Year twice, in 2006 and '07, the international body's Test player of the year three times - in 2003, '04 and '06 - won the Allan Border Medal in 2004, '06, '07 and '09 and as well as being the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2006 was also CricInfo's Player of the Decade for 2000-09.