Australian legend Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from international cricket, calling time on a glittering 17-year career [GETTY];*;The former skipper has scored 13,366 runs in 167 Tests – the second highest total in the history of the game behind India(***)s Sachin Tendulkar [GALLO/GETTY];*;"It(***)s a decision I thought long and hard about. It was based on my output and my results in this series so far. It hasn(***)t been what I expect of myself and certainly not the level required of a batsman in the Australia team," said Ponting, ahead of the third South Africa Test [GALLO/GETTY];*;While Don Bradman remains Australia(***)s greatest ever cricketer, Ponting is without peer in the 50-over game having scored 13,704 runs in 375 matches at an average of 42. He won three World Cups in his 17-year career, two as captain [GALLO/GETTY];*;Ponting stepped down as Test and ODI skipper last March, having led Australia in 227 one-dayers for 163 wins, including two Cricket World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007. He led the team in 77 Test matches for 48 wins, making him the most successful Australian Test captain, but also skippered three Ashes series defeats [GALLO/GETTY];*;Ponting is recognised as one of the finest batsman ever. "Punter" as he is known, made his first-class debut for Tasmania in November 1992 at the tender age of 17 [GALLO/GETTY];*;Ponting made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Perth in 1995, making 96 and in the following World Series ODI Cup played between the Aussies, Sri Lanka and the West Indies made his debut ODI century [GALLO/GETTY] ;*;Ponting became Australian one-day captain in February 2002, ahead of then vice-captain Adam Gilchrist. Australia won their first series under his captaincy during their tour of South Africa [GALLO/GETTY];*;In 2003 Australia won the Cricket World Cup which Ponting said was one of his career highlights: "I think if I was to pick one [favourite moment] it would probably be the first World Cup that I captained ... I made a big hundred in the final and to this day that is probably one of the proudest moments of my career" [GALLO/GETTY];*;Australia overpowered India in the final with Ponting top-scoring with 140 not-out from 121 balls [GALLO/GETTY];*;Ponting took over as the 42nd Australian Test captain when Steve Waugh retired in 2004: "Ponting was destined to lead his country" said Waugh [GALLO/GETTY];*;Ponting had a good 2004 and 2005 season, winning all five Tests, defeating New Zealand and Pakistan. He scored 145 runs at 72.50 against New Zealand in a formidable start to his Test captaincy on home soil [GALLO/GETTY];*;But his leadership soon came under question when Australia lost the Ashes to England in 2005, becoming the first Australian captain since Allan Border in 1987 to lose an Ashes series. [GALLO/GETTY];*;Ponting has won almost every individual award including ICC player of the year in 2006 and 2007 (the only man to win the award twice). He was also named the ICC Test player of the year in 2006 and captain of the year in 2007 [GALLO/GETTY];*;Although Ponting avenged the 2005 loss with a 5-0 whitewash against England in the 2006 - 07 Ashes series, the retirement of Australian greats, including Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, left him a much more youthful team [GALLO/GETTY];*;What followed was a mixed bag for Australia, as they lost a rare Test series at home to South Africa and were then beaten in each of the next two Ashes series (2009 and 2011) slipping down the world rankings and leading to calls for Ponting to step aside [GALLO/GETTY]
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