By CricketCountry Staff
Hobart: Feb 23, 2012
Former Australian captain Greg Chappell has applauded cricketer Ricky Ponting’s achievements as One-Day International (ODI) cricketer after the latter retired from ODIs on Tuesday after being dropped from the squad for the remainder of the CB Series.
Chappell in his column for The Hindu wrote, “Ponting’s record speaks for itself. He has been the premier Australian batsman of his generation and one of the best in the world for many years and has led his country with distinction. His record of having captained two World Cup winning teams is the highlight of his One-Day captaincy record.”
Chappell praised the way Ponting set high standards for himself as the captain and lead by example in the team. He wrote, “Ponting set high standards for himself and expected players to follow suit. He enhanced his reputation with the way he went about playing a mentoring role since stepping down from the captaincy.”
Chappell felt Ponting was easily one of the best fieldsman in the world and his work ethics inspired other team members.
“His loss from the ODI side will be considerable. Apart from his batting, he has been one of the best fieldsmen in the team from his first game to his last. He was also an inspiration to all players for the way he went about his training.” wrote Chappell. “Even at the end of his career, he was prepared to field at silly point and short leg, positions that in other teams would be reserved for junior players.”
He further wrote, “His skill, allied with his tireless work ethic and competitive spirit, has contributed to a batting record that will place him in the highest echelons of Australian players. He will be hard to replace in the short term, but, the extra responsibility on other senior players may just prod them to step up and fill the void that his exit will cause.”
Chappell felt Australia’s strong selection policy was the reason behind bringing down the curtain on one of the greatest ODI players.
He wrote,” One of the great strengths of Australian cricket is that we have a robust, and transparent, selection system. The National Selection Panel is independent and appointed by the Board and is not subject to interference. John Inverarity and his panel have been vested with the authority to make decisions of this magnitude.
“At some stage in every great player's career, the selectors will have to decide whether giving the champion a few more innings is a better return on investment than giving the next potential champion a start in his career. If it is not, then the tough call must be made.”
Chappell, while bestowing accolades on Ponting said the Tasmanian should be remembered for his tireless contribution to Australian cricket.
He wrote, “Ponting deserves to be recognised for the wonderful contribution that he has made to Australian cricket, but, I don't expect his dropping to signal a full scale attack on the NSP and nor, I think, would Ricky.
“The Australian selectors were hoping to blend some young players into the ODI team while Ponting and Hussey still played their part but the recent form of Ponting has forced their hand. Inverarity said at his press conference that the NSP has decided to start looking at building a squad for the 2015 ICC World Cup that is to be played in Australasia.”