No Ashes regrets for Ponting

2013-07-12 07:46
Ricky Ponting (Gallo)

London - Ricky Ponting has no regrets over missing out on the Ashes despite marking his final first class innings with a century on the same day Australia's top order struggled for runs.

The 38-year-old former Australian captain hit 169 not out for Surrey in his final innings against Nottinghamshire at The Oval on Thursday in the English county championship.

His runs came as Australia's leading batsmen, with the exception of Phil Hughes and Steven Smith, all struggled in the first Test against England at Trent Bridge.

Ponting had moved from his overnight 41 to 108 by lunch on the final day and he remained unbeaten throughout his seven-hour, 319-ball innings, which included 18 fours, to help Surrey rescue a draw.

The 38-year-old, who retired from international cricket in December 2012 with a Test average of 51.85, had reached the landmark of 24,000 first-class runs at the start of his second innings on Wednesday.

But, with Australia's batsmen struggling to shine at Trent Bridge, it was inevitable Ponting would be asked if his superb display would make him reconsider his decision to retire.

"Look there's no doubt I could continue to play and continue to play well," Ponting said.

"Saying that, I've really enjoyed the time I had here with Surrey and my intentions were not to retire when I first came, it is just that opportunities have opened up back home off the field.

"First-class cricket is over for me now. As much as I enjoy it and as much as I know I can keep playing, there's other things I have to look after in my personal life. It's been 21 years now.

"A lot of that time has been away from home. It'll just be nice to live life as a father and as a parent.

"I'll stay involved with the game. I love the game too much and love competing.

"I've got some stuff to do with the Big Bash League back in Australia this year and the Ashes series is back on in the summer, so I'll be there or thereabouts, involved somewhere. Today, on a personal note, was a nice way to finish."

Ponting's farewell innings lifting his first-class run tally to 24,150 runs at an average of 55.90 in 289 appearances.

Meanwhile, former Australia batsman Simon Katich was also in the runs on Thursday for Lancashire against Northamptonshire.

The 37-year-old, who played the last of his 56 Tests in 2010, smashed a scintillating 200 off 322 balls which included 26 fours and one six as Lancashire were eventually bowled out for 442.

Katich hit 10 centuries in his Test career.

Read more on:    ricky ponting  |  cricket

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