Ponting confirms test cricket retirement
Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from Test cricket.
The former Australian captain has underperformed so far this series and confirmed the third Test against South Africa in Perth will be his last.
Ponting will equal Steve Waugh's mark of 168 Test matches in this match, the most in the history of Australian cricket.
The entire Australian squad turned up for the press conference on Friday in Perth where Ponting made his announcement.
Turning 38 next month, Ponting is the highest Australian run-scorer of all time and has been described as the greatest Australian batsman outside Sir Donald Bradman.
The Tasmanian has 13,336 Test runs to his name, only Indian Sachin Tendulkar has scored more in the history of cricket.
Ponting suggested after the second Test in Adelaide where he made four and 16 that the end might be near, and his fate was now in the hands of selectors.
He will continue to play for Tasmania in the domestic competition for the remainder of the summer.
Ponting told his teammates of his decision to quit Test cricket on Thursday morning and announced it publicly in a media conference at the WACA.
"Over the last couple of weeks my level of performance hasn't been good enough," he said.
"My passion and love for the game hasn't changed."
"At the end of the day (the decision) was based on my results."
"In this series so far they have not been up to the level required of batsmen and players in the Australian team."
"I'm glad I have got the opportunity to finish on my terms."
Ponting said he would in no way be distracted for the series-deciding Test against South Africa where the world No.1 ranking is up for grabs.
"I want this win more than any other game I have played in."