November 29, 2012. A day I will always remember. For, one of the greatest cricketers of modern times and a charismatic character, Ricky Ponting, bid adieu to international cricket. What have I got to do with Ponting’s retirement, one might ask.
Well, I’ve been one of the biggest fans of Punter since my days of growing up. I adored his aggressive leadership, his fierce competitiveness, his batting and, of course, that trademark Ponting pull. So, to wake up that fateful day hearing the news of his surprise retirement — I wished he played the Ashes — killed the joy of my weekly off.
I could not help but watch that press conference over and over again on TV, and seeing Michael Clarke break down gave me goose bumps. It just told me how much the man meant to Australia.
Despite his seniority, he often stood at silly point, a position usually reserved for the youngest member of the team. Not how I define arrogance, as he is perceived to be. That guard of honour he received by the South Africans while walking one last time towards the pitch at the WACA and that trademark pull he played (again for the one last time) made me shed a tear.
And yes, Ponting’s retirement caused me more heartbreak than Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI retirement.