‘Giving it up hurt’: Ricky Ponting opens up about stepping down as Australia captain in 2011
Legendary Australia captain Ricky Ponting opened up about the time he gave up captaincy after leading Australia to incredible heights in all formats of the game. Ponting is regarded as one of the best captains in sport’s history and the silverware be won during his time at helm was second to none.
Ponting led Australia in 77 Tests (48 wins) while he took charge in 228 ODIs (162 wins). He also led his team to two back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007, taking his overall titles to three.
Despite such feats, Ponting decided to step down as captain of the team after Australia were knocked out in semi-final of ICC World Cup 2011. At the time, he had said no one asked him to give up captaincy and he stuck to his guns this time as well.
Ponting revealed giving up captaincy hurt but he knew it was the right time to step down from the position. He also stated that decided to stay as batsman in the team because a lot of new players were coming in and him being around would help them a lot.
“Did it hurt? Yes. Giving it up hurt. I think I realised it was the right time for Australian cricket,” Ponting told Sky Sports. “I want to give the next captain appropriate time to go into next couple of big tournaments. I wanted to ensure Michael (Clarke) had enough time to be the best captain he can be in the next big event.”
“It was really touch and go that would make it to the next Ashes. I thought it was right time to give it up and give Michael every opportunity.
“I made a hundred in the World Cup quarter-final and I was still playing well. There were a few eyebrows raised when I said I would like to play on,” Ponting said.
“The major reason I played on is because there were a lot of young guys coming in at the time and I wanted to make sure I was around to help them. Believe me, there was nothing left for me to achieve in the game and I was only around for what I thought was best for Australian cricket.”