Ricky Ponting, the former Australian captain, will retire from all forms of cricket in October 2013 after the conclusion of the Champions League Twenty20 in India. Ponting is currently doing duty for Surrey in England, and will be part of the Mumbai Indians squad in the Champions League.
“While I’m enjoying my cricket as much as ever, it just feels like the right time to finish playing. My body and mind are in great shape and I know I’m going to really enjoy these last few months before the next stage of life begins,” Ponting told the Daily Mail.
Ponting was designated the Mumbai Indians captain before the start of IPL VI, but stepped down half-way through the tournament due to lack of form, and watched from the sidelines as the side ended triumphant. Before this year’s IPL, he had been part of Tasmania’s victorious campaign in the Sheffield Shield. He is scheduled to join the Antigua Hawksbills in July for the inaugural Caribbean Premier League.
“To win the Sheffield Shield with Tasmania in my last game in Australia played at Blundstone Arena, will forever be a memory close to my heart. It’s one of a lifetime of memories that will become even more special to me in retirement,” said Ponting. “I’m so grateful for the opportunities that the game of cricket has given to me. I’ve played with so many outstanding people at all levels of cricket with lifelong friendships made.”
Ponting retired from Test cricket in December 2012 as the second highest run-getter in the game with 13,378 runs in 168 matches. He was also part of three World Cup winning Australian sides, two of which he captained.
He indicated that he would remain connected with the game through coaching and mentoring opportunities, and also has options in cricket media that he’s considering.
“I’m considering a couple of options in the cricket media and I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful group of commercial partners that I will be continuing to work with,” said Ponting, who will be writing exclusively for Sportsmail during this summer’s Ashes Test series in England. “My autobiography comes out in late October so I’ve also got a couple of busy months on my Book Tour when I get back. I got a taste for the off field demands of coaching, mentoring and leadership at Mumbai. I’d like to do more of this in the future.”
Paying tribute to his former captain, Michael Clarke, the current Australia skipper, said: “He’s been an amazing player, there’s no doubt about it, and (he’s) done so much for the game of cricket.”
Playing down talk that Ponting should be called out of international retirement to play the Ashes series in England, especially after he hit 192 on his Surrey debut this month, Clarke said, “He retired from the Australian cricket team. We’ve got a new team here and we are looking forward to this series.”