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Ponting named best batsman of the decade

cricket Updated: Jan 14, 2010 17:12 IST

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Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been chosen as the "ESPN Cricinfo Player of the Decade for the 2000s" by a 38-strong panel of experts, including current and former players.

Ponting beat back the challenge of other current greats of the game including senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who is placed sixth in the list.

Sitting at the top, the Australian fetched highest 60 points, 23 more than the second placed Protea all-rounder Jacques Kallis (37) who was followed by Ponting's compatriot Adam Gilchrist (29).

Over the past decade, Ponting has scored more runs and centuries in both forms of the game than any other batsman and is the only player to go past the 9000-mark in both forms.

The 35-year-old right-handed batsman scored 55 centuries in international cricket during the period, 13 clear of Tendulkar, and was one of only three batsmen to average more than 58 in Tests, a media release said.

South Africa's Kallis and Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf are the two others.

The leading cricket website's jury that selected Ponting was asked to pick their top three cricketers of the 2000s.

Each number one vote fetched three points; a number two vote, two points, and a number three vote one point and Ponting earned 60 points, beating out Kallis who finished second with 37 points, the release said.

Happy at winning the award, the three-time World Cup winning batsman said what made him proud the most about his career was its longevity.